Subject: Whaling

Michael Williamson (
Sun, 16 Mar 1997 12:04:52 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 97 14:41:00 GMT 
Subject: VIC: Govt urged to rewrite wha

VIC: Govt urged to rewrite whaling treaty

   MELBOURNE, March 15 AAP - A ban on commercial whaling could be
achieved if the federal government could gather international
support to rewrite the anachronistic International Whaling
Convention, the government's whaling taskforce heard today.
   In Melbourne to hear submissions from groups including
conservationists, and the Japanese government, taskforce chair
Chris Puplick said suggestions included promoting whale watching
rather than whale killing, trade bans on whale products, and
international agreements.
   He said the taskforce, set up in November and due to report to
Environment Minister Robert Hill by the end of April, had received
50 submissions, all but one from Japan in favour of the
government's commitment to oppose commercial whaling.
   Project Jonah and Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman
Geoff Mosely said the obvious option was to rewrite the
International Whaling Convention (IWC).
   The convention's current moratorium on commercial whaling was
motivated by a desire to preserve whale stocks for future hunting,
he said.
   "Well, 50 years on, the main interest in whales is in terms of
whale watching, so the convention in the way its written is an
anachronism," Mr Mosely said.
   "This isn't a case of overturning a treaty, it's a case of
making a treaty fit the new circumstances of the present day when
people prefer to see whales go free."
   But Senator Hill said although he was waiting for the
taskforce's recommendation on how to implement a ban, he felt the
IWC was too far out of date to change.
   "My instinct is that it would be difficult to do it through the
IWC," he told AAP.
   He said he did not know if it would be possible to rewrite the
convention without the support of Japan and Norway, which both
support whaling.
   However, he said he thought it would be possible to achieve a
ban by some means even without their agreement.