Subject: IWC: Environment group opens intern (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Sun, 17 May 1998 14:10:50 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 17 May 98 11:07:00 GMT 
Subject: Environment group opens intern

Environment group opens international whaling meet

     MUSCAT, May 16 (Reuters) - The International Whaling
Commission (IWC) opened its 50th annual meeting in Oman on
Saturday amid calls by an animal rights group for the use of
sanctions to enforce an international moratorium on whaling.
     Campaign Whale said in a report issued in London that an
existing ban had so far failed to stop Norway and Japan from
reaping huge profits from the slaughter of the protected
     "The UK government must take the lead and press for greater
enforcement of the whaling ban," it said. "It is time to end
this obscene industry once and for all."
     The official Omani News Agency (ONA) quoted IWC Chairman
Michael Canny, in his opening session remarks, as saying that
the five-day meeting in Muscat provided an opportunity to review
the commission's failures and successes over the past half
     Omani officials said 300 delegates from 33 countries would
discuss the world's whale population and international
violations of the moratorium.
     The failure to stop Norway and Japan from hunting whales
will also be discussed at the meeting, the IWC said.
     Campaign Whale said Ireland had proposed to the IWC that
countries should be allowed to carry out whale hunting within
coastal waters of up to 200 miles (320 km) offshore.
     Andy Ottaway, campaign director of Campaign Whale, said the
plan would give Norway, Japan and others "licence to slaughter
more whales than ever."
     The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society agreed, calling
the Irish proposal a "smokescreen" that would legitimise
     Norwegian whalers began this year's hunting season a week
ago, with the highest quota since the country ignored the IWC
moratorium and resumed commercial catches in 1993. They will
harpoon 671 minke whales in the northwest Atlantic, up from 580
last year.
     Norway and Japan together are expected to kill over 1,200
whales this year, the group said.
     The price of whale meat in Norway means a dead whale is
worth about $6,000: a total of $4 million between the 36 whaling
boats that are licensed for this year, it estimated.
     A raft of other non-government organisations, including the
World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), is pressuring both Japan
and Norway to abide by IWC rules.
     Japan has harpooned more than 3,600 minke whales for
"scientific purposes" since the moratorium was declared in
1985-86, the Swiss-based WWF reported recently.
     Denmark's Ritzau news agency on Thursday said that
Greenland's whale catch quota of slightly over 200 per year was
unlikely to be a hot topic at the meeting.
     "The Danish-Greenland delegation does not expect Greenland
to be a topic for debate this year," Ritzau said. Greenland is
an autonomous province under the Danish crown. Its annual catch
quota, set under special rules for indigenous peoples, was set
for many years ahead at last year's IWC meeting.
     The whaling season is currently in full swingin the Arctic
waters around Greenland and Norway.