Subject: Clinton hits Canada on whaling (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 12:09:35 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 97 00:51:00 GMT 
Subject: Clinton hits Canada on whaling

Clinton hits Canada on whaling

    WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuter) - President Bill Clinton on
Tuesday called Canada's issuance of whaling permits
"unacceptable" and suspended consideration of any Canadian
request for a resumption of trade in seals.
     But in a message to Congress, Clinton did not go ahead with
a ban on the import of fish products from Canada as had been
     The United States was reacting to Canada's decision last
year to issue whaling licenses that native Inuits used to kill
two endangered bowhead whales.
     Washington felt the move undermined the conservation
programme of the International Whaling Commission aimed at
protecting the endangered bowhead.
     "Canada's unilateral decision to authorise whaling outside
of the IWC is unacceptable," Clinton said. "Canada's conduct
jeopardises the international effort that has allowed whale
stocks to begin to recover from the devastating effects of
historic whaling."
     Clinton said he instructed the U.S. Commerce Department to
withhold consideration of any Canadian requests for waivers to
the existing moratorium on the import of seals and seal products
into the United States.
     He also instructed the U.S. State Department to oppose
Canadian efforts to address takings of marine mammals within the
newly formed Arctic Council, which U.S. officials believe will
undercut the authority of the whaling commission.
     Clinton said he felt these measures were more appropriate
than imposing an import ban on Canadian fish products.
     The World Wildlife Fund environmental group applauded
Clinton's decision, saying it sent a clear message to Canada and
the world "that international rules on whaling must be
respected and that the United States will act to enforce them."
     The Fund said in a statement that U.S. action on Canada sets
the stage for a much higher stakes confrontation with Norway
this spring. It said Norway has announced its intention to kill
580 Minke whales this year.