Subject: IWC:Campaigners to urge Irish to d (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 10:32:09 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon,  1 Dec 97 12:39:00 GMT 
Subject: Campaigners to urge Irish to d

Campaigners to urge Irish to drop whaling proposals

  By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News
   Animal welfare campaigners go to Dublin tomorrow to urge the Irish
Government to drop its proposals for renewed commercial whaling in
coastal waters.
   Members of the London based Environmental Investigation Agency
will take with them a letter signed by over 60 conservation
organisations from around the world, demanding the Irish drop the
   A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods
said Britain has "serious reservations," about the idea which aims
to save the Minke whale from extinction.
   Although it would allow commercial killing for the first time in
eleven years, whaling nations Japan and Norway would have to accept
the establishment of a global sanctuary and the closing of a legal
loophole which allowed killing for "scientific reasons."
   Environmental groups have protested for years that "scientific
quotas" allow Japan and Norway to exploit a dwindling population of
Minkes and satisfy demand for whale steaks in upmarket restaurants.
   The controversy blew up at last month's meeting of the
International Whaling Commission in Monaco when Irish Whaling
Commissioners, Mr Michael Canny tabled a package of measures
including the lifting of the current commercial whaling ban.
   Head of Campaigns at the EIA Steve Trent said in London: "The
Irish proposal is a disastrous idea. Almost all whale species
spend some time in coastal waters, so almost all species including
some of the most endangered could be subject to renewed commercial
   "We are calling on the Irish government to reign in Mr Canny,
and on other conservation organisations to join in the fight to
stop him."
   Many conservationists fear if the ban is lifted, other
international agreements to protect endangered whales will also
unravel, and renewed whale hunting in coastal waters would
kick-start a large-scale illegal trade in whale meat and encourage
countries such as the Philippines, Russia and Taiwan to restart
commercial whaling.
   They fear that acceptance of the plan would reward Japan and
Norway for their flouting of whaling regulations and fail to
address the issue of cruelty.
   Whale populations are under greater threat than ever from
climate change, ozone depletion, pollution and industrial fisheries,
they say, and any de facto sanctuary for whales outside coastal
waters would have no internationally agreed legal basis.
   UK Fisheries Minister Elliot Morley voiced serious doubts about
the Irish move at the IWC last month and said a proposed 200 mile
coastal limit for whale killing is "absolutely unacceptable."