Subject: IWC: Whaling Conference, Siberian indigenous

Michael Williamson (
Tue, 2 Jul 1996 13:08:55 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 96 11:33:00 UTC 0000
Subject: Whaling Conference

Whaling Conference

 Associated Press Writer
   ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) -- World whaling authorities have denied
a Siberian indigenous group the right to hunt a rare species,
prompting Russia to accuse its opponents of hostility.
   The International Whaling Commission also called on Norway to
end its commercial whale hunting.
   Russia asked the whaling group to permit its Chukotka people to
kill five bowhead whales annually under a special category
permitting aboriginal people to hunt a few whales.
   Russia argued that the Chukotka needed the whales for food and
to help rebuild traditions undermined by the Soviet government.
They already have the right to hunt 140 gray whales a year, which
are no longer listed as endangered. The bowhead is classified as
   At the end of the International Whaling Commission's five-day
annual conference Friday, the regulatory body almost succeeded in
reaching a consensus in favor of Russia's request, but delegations
from Mexico and Australia held out.
   Russia accused Mexico and Australia of bias, saying they were
both determined to inflict damage on the Russian economy and harm
its native peoples.
   The other delegates assured Russia that their decisions were
based on the issue at hand and not meant to be hostile. Russia
dropped the request.
   The commission passed a resolution demanding that Norway to end
its commercial whale hunting and report on the size of its
whale-meat stockpiles and its efforts to clamp down on illegal
   Norway objects to the commission's non-binding worldwide
moratorium on commercial whaling. It resumed hunting in 1993,
despite protests by many other nations and anti-whaling groups.
   "We are not going to comply," Norwegian commissioner Kare Bryn
said. "It is a matter of extreme irritation ... to be faced with
this sort of resolution year after year."
   Bryn and most of his delegation walked out, leaving a delegate
to vote against the resolution, which passed 18 votesto nine.
   Norway does not kill whales at its 1970s level of about 1,800 a
year, but takes several hundred minke whales annually.
   Japan, too, objects to the moratorium and kills several hundred
whales each year under a provision that allows a limited kill for
scientific research.
   The commission called on Japan to stop hunting in an Antarctic
whale sanctuary. Japan persists, despite repeated international
   The commission also passed a resolution against a Canadian plan
to permit the indigenous Nunavut people in the Northwest
Territories kill one bowhead whale.
   Canada, which withdrew from the commission in 1982, had an
observer at the conference who objected to the resolution, saying
the aboriginal peoples of Canada have a right to harvest marine