~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 12:36:00 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Ireland gauges support for com Ireland gauges support for compromise whaling plan By Christine Tierney MONACO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The International Whaling Commission (IWC) ends its annual meeting on Friday with a compromise plan under consideration to try to break the deadlock between whalers and their opponents. The plan, announced on Tuesday, would allow limited coastal whaling of abundant species but only for local consumption and would ban whaling on the high seas. It would also phase out scientific whaling, carried out by Japanese hunters who kill over 400 whales a year for research. One source at the IWC said Irish Whaling Commissioner Michael Canny would probably announce plans to draft a formal proposal for next year's IWC annual meeting in Oman. "He's not going to drop this," the source said. The response to the compromise proposal has generally been cautious or cool. But its advocates say agreement must be found to bring the whaling nations back under IWC supervision. Canny has been lobbying commissioners in the past two days while attention was focused on a controversial U.S. request for an aboriginal subsistence quota of four grey whales a year. Despite strong objections from several governments and environmental groups at the five-day meeting, the IWC on Thursday approved a joint U.S.-Russian quota allocation that includes the small catch for the Makah tribe from the western U.S. state of Washington. The tribe claims a 1,500-year whaling tradition and the right to hunt whales under an 1855 treaty with the United States. Anti-whaling groups say the Makah are not subsistence whalers, as they have not been whaling in more than 70 years. The controversy pitting aboriginal rights against whales overshadowed the issue whether the IWC can survive an evolution from a regulatory hunting body to a group with a majority of members who think whale-hunting is cruel and unnecessary. Representatives from Britain, Australia and the United States saidthis week that they reject any move to allow commercial whaling even though Japan and Norway already defy a ban on commercial whaling voted by the IWC in 1982. Commercial whale kills have tripled to 1,043 in the past 12 months from around 350 at the start of the decade, according to IWC figures. Japan's delegates say the Irish plan's clause banning high seas whaling contravenes the IWC's mandate to regulate sustainable hunting of whale populations, some of which have begun to recover after three decades of protection. Japan and Norway hunt the minke, a plentiful species with a worldwide population estimated at 760,000.