Subject: IWC: Meeting UPI Science News (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 13:30:33 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 97 13:34:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: UPI Science News

UPI Science News

   MONTE CARLO, Monaco, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- The International Whaling
Commission has begun its annual meeting, the peak event of the annual
struggle between fans and foes of the whaling industry.
   Delegates convened today in Monte Carlo for a week of debate. The
commission formed in 1946 to bring some kind of order to worldwide
whaling, setting catch limits and establishing whale sanctuaries.
However, it has no powers of enforcement.
   Possibly its most controversial decision has been to maintain a
moratorium on all commercial whaling since 1986.
   The commission still allows a few whales for certain traditional
whalers, such as the two humpback whales permitted per season in St.
Vincent and the Grenadines.
   Other nations have objected to the ban and, despite more than 10
years of battle, are expected to protest again this year. Norway has
exercised an escape clause in the convention and openly whales. Japan
continues to whale, saying the catch goes for scientific research.
   Spokesman Alan Macnow for the Japan Whaling Association, does not
hold high hopes for these protests and predicts the 1997 gathering will
"harpoon whale use again."
   This year, the commission is expected to debate a proposal allowing
commercial whaling near national coasts in exchange for making the rest
of the oceans a safe zone.
   Commission watchers also predict struggles over whether the
commission can regulate whale watching, whether the Southern Ocean
around Antartica should remain a sanctuary and whether electric lances
should be used to kill whales that have already been hit by explosive
harpoons.