IWC Governments' inaction risks future of whales

Posted on 25 May 1999    
St George's, GRENADA - WWF, the conservation organization, calls on the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to act now to regain control over whaling. If it does not, decision making on whales may be taken out of the hands of the IWC.

The authority of the IWC is at risk as governments continue to tolerate a deadlock over the future of commercial whaling. Those countries calling for a complete ban on whaling are in practice doing nothing to stop the increase of numbers of whales being killed, and the couple of countries whaling today continue to flout IWC majority opinion. Governments must negotiate a package of solutions or they will be guilty of opting for a quiet life and leaving an uncertain future for the great whales.

"The time has come for all IWC Governments, both whaling and non whaling, to agree a solution that finally removes the threat of ever growing uncontrolled whaling. It is the IWC that must decide the fate of the world's whales", said Cassandra Phillips, WWF's Coordinator for Whales and the Antarctic.

The number of whales hunted in defiance of the IWC's moratorium continues to escalate every year. If the remaining two whaling governments refuse to negotiate with some degree of flexibility they will bear the responsibility for returning to large scale whaling - whose historical record is one of the darkest chapters in the world's history of unsustainable resource use.

All the member governments need to show real determination in the search for a solution. Points of procedure at the IWC's meeting must not be allowed to take precedence over the future of whales. The time has come for positive solutions rather than empty rhetoric.

For further information:

Cassandra Phillips: Allamanda Hotel, Grenada, tel: +1 473 444 0095

David Cowdrey or Kyla Evans: Allamanda Hotel, Grenada, tel: +1 473 444 0095

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