Subject: IWC: BRITAIN RALLIES SUPPORT TO BAN (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 14:38:28 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 96 11:37:00 UTC 0000
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: BRITAIN RALLIES SUPPORT TO BAN

BRITAIN RALLIES SUPPORT TO BAN ELECTRIC HARPOONS

  By Steve Smith, PA News
   British whaling experts were tonight forced to wait at least another day
before knowing if their bid to have the electric lance banned from
international whaling will be successful.
   Some UK delegates had hoped their motion would be debated today at the
annual
meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Aberdeen.
   But it emerged tonight that further talks will take place in private before
the matter is discussed fully by conference, most likely tomorrow.
   Britain and New Zealand have called the electric lance - used by Japanese
whalers to kill already captured whales - "cruel and inhumane" and said it
should be outlawed by the IWC.
   The British delegates said today they were confident they now had strong
support from other member nations, but will only know of the outcome when the
item goes to the vote.
   Their call for a ban is part of Britain's stronger opposition to whaling,
still carried out commercially in Norway and for "scientific" purposes in
Japan.
   Japan has said it is willing to undertake a feasibility study into
alternative
killing methods, but has confirmed it would oppose any early replacement of the
weapon before studies had been carried out.
   Meanwhile a small tribe of American Indians may also find out tomorrow if
they
are to be granted IWC permission to hunt whales in a bid to restore their
centuries-old culture.
   The Makah Indian Tribe of North West Washington State have asked the IWC for
permission to kill five whales a year until the year 2000.
   Further talks were ordered after delegates became split over the issue and
discussions have continued between the US, who put forward the request, and
member nations concerned at the proposal.
   The Makahs, with a population of just 2,000, say they will use the whales
for
ceremonial and subsistence purposes only and no commercial whaling will take
place.
   Earlier today tribal council member Marcy Parker maintained the pressure on
the IWC to grant approval by showing delegates a video that highlighted the
importance of whaling to the Makahs.
   The tribe has a history of whaling going back 1,500 years and now wished to
resume the hunting practice which died out around 70 years ago.
   Under its aboriginal subsistence policy, the IWC can vote to grant
indigenous
tribes the right to catch small numbers of whales for non-commercial use only,
such as for food and rituals.