Subject: IWC: Center for Marine Conservation (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Fri, 15 May 1998 19:02:16 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 15 May 98 11:55:00 GMT 
Subject: Center for Marine Conservation

Center for Marine Conservation Announces ...

    WASHINGTON, May 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Center for Marine
Conservation (CMC) announced a four-pronged plan for the 33
member-nations attending the upcoming 50th Anniversary meeting of the
International Whaling Commission (IWC).
   CMC is calling on the IWC to strengthen and expand the international
regime to protect and recover the world's threatened and endangered
whales.  The IWC meeting is in Muscat, Oman and runs from May 16-20.
   Roger E. McManus, president of CMC said, "For 25 years CMC has been
working to protect the world's whales -- they are not saved yet. There
is still much to be done and so we are calling for the adoption of our
four point plan.  Despite the IWC's efforts and its adoption more than
ten years ago, of a moratorium on commercial whaling, most populations
of baleen whales have not recovered to even half of their
pre-whaling-era size." Nevertheless, McManus noted, "If the IWC did not
exist the status of these whales would be considerably worse. CMC will
continue to attend the IWC meetings and monitor its actions to ensure
that these magnificent whales are fully protected."
   The CMC action plan calls upon nations acting collectively through
the IWC, and individually to protect and recover whale populations by:
   -- Maintaining the current moratorium on commercial whaling; --
Ending all "research whaling" by Japan by closing the loopholes in the
International Convention on Regulation of Whaling that allow nations
to continue commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research;
   -- Expanding the commercial whaling moratorium to include all
toothed whales such as the beaked whales, bottlenose whales, killer
whales, and pilot whales which are currently killed in coastal
"small-type" whaling; ("small-type" is the technical term for
small-scale coastal whaling).
   -- Identifying and protecting important whale breeding and feeding
habitats, such as the calving lagoons for Pacific gray whales located
in Baja, California and threatened by a proposed salt processing
facility to be built by Mitsubishi Corp.
   Nina Young, CMC's research scientist for marine mammals said,
"Habitat protection is critical to the recovery of these threatened
and endangered whales.  Nations must take action to protect these
habitats. Joint efforts by the IWC, United States and Mexico provide
an excellent example of how collective action can lead to effective
whale conservation.  These parties adopted protective measures and the
gray whale recovered. Mexico's efforts to protect its calving and
breeding habitat contributed significantly to the conservation of this
whale species, but development of this habitat still threatens the
gray whale's existence."
   Lori Williams, CMC's vice president for programs who is attending
the IWC meeting in Muscat as a non-governmental organization observer
said, "It is vitally important that the IWC extend the moratorium to
other whale species such as beaked whales and pilot whales that are
currently being killed in 'small-type' coastal whaling operations. If
the IWC is to prevent the overexploitation of these whale species, it
must recognize and include these whales under the moratorium and
pursue conservation and management measures."
   The Center for Marine Conservation began its efforts to end
worldwide whale killing in 1976 by establishing the Whale Protection
Fund (WPF).  Using scientific data and raising public awareness has
been key to CMC's campaign against commercial whaling.  The sperm
whale's recovery is among CMC's success stories.  More than ten years
after the IWC stopped setting quotas for sperm whales (due, in part,
to the findings of WPF-sponsored scientists) sperm whale populations
have rebounded to nearly 982,300 animals -- approximately 70 percent
of its pre-whaling population size.
   CMC's public awareness campaign, scientific data and monographs,
and its commissioner guides contributed to the IWC establishing a
moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986 and maintaining that
moratorium every year since its initial review in 1990. The IWC will
discuss topics such as the moratorium on commercial whaling,
scientific/research whaling, "small-type" whaling, and Norway's
commercial whaling in contravention of IWC recommendations.