NGOs concerned about new measures in commercial whaling

NGOs concerned about new measures in commercial whaling

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By Anastasia Gubin

15 non-governmental organizations denounced in Portoroz, Slovenia, during the opening of the biannual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that member countries of the European Union are threatening to dismantle the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

The IWC was created under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in 1946 and has 88 member countries.

On September 16, the representatives voted with 46 votes in favor, 11 against and 3 abstentions, approving "a set of subsistence quotas for Greenland," he said in a statement on this date. (Audio of the conversations)

This year's meeting put on its agenda the elaboration of some amendments to the existing whaling moratorium and is discussing the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and the proposal to establish a new sanctuary in the South Atlantic.

“In 2012 the European Union rejected these captures, so it is incomprehensible that two years later it decisively promoted a proposal that not only undermines the moratorium but also directly affects the interests of Latin American communities that use these marine mammals in the growing industry. of whale watching tourism, "said the letter from the 15 NGOs published on September 16, according to the Ecocéanos Center of Chile, the Cethus Foundation and the Whale Conservation Institute of Argentina, Comarino of Mexico, the Cetacean Conservation Center of Chile and Brazil and organizations from Colombia, Costa Rica, Uruguay, as well as international organizations.

“Despite having one of the strictest laws on the conservation of cetaceans, the European Union has also decided to ignore the illegal hunting that Greenland / Denmark has carried out since 2013, by continuing to kill whales without authorization from the IWC and the irrefutable evidences of the commercial nature of these massacres ”, highlighted the document.

The IWC instead stated on September 16 that "from the beginning it recognized whaling for aboriginal subsistence" and assured that "it is not the same as commercial hunting. Aboriginal hunting does not seek to maximize catches or profit. classifies differently by the IWC and is not subject to the moratorium ”.

It was also based on combining the concepts of ‘aboriginal,‘ need ’and subsistence’ to create an authorized whaling system in the countries that request it.

“First of all, there is no definition of key terminology, not only in the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, but in international law in general. It has never been possible to refine the concept of ‘aboriginal’ to a rigid and measurable definition. The same can be said of ‘subsistence’ and in fact of ‘necessity’, the CBI reported.

The entity also warned against possible criticism about the use of industrial technology in Aboriginal whaling permits, arguing that "improved technology makes whaling safer, more efficient and more humane, but it can be seen by some as compromising aboriginal authenticity ”.

“The result of technological advances is a faster and more humane killing method. For others, the use of more traditional technology is seen as a problem for the opposite reasons, ”according to the CBI.

Extending its approval to other countries, the commission determined that it will be the responsibility of each government "to provide the Commission with evidence of the needs of its indigenous peoples."

Ensuring that hunting does not seriously increase the risk of extinction (…) and that whale populations remain at healthy, relatively high levels; enable native people to hunt whales at levels appropriate to cultural and nutritional needs (known as "need") in the long term.

The NGOs noted with concern that in this way “dozens of humpback whales that migrate from the Arctic to the warm waters of the Dominican Republic are sentenced to death, where they support the development of a sighting tourism industry that is essential for coastal communities. from developing countries ”. "The European Union will go down in history as the bloc of countries responsible for creating the conditions to de facto eliminate the moratorium and move towards the resumption of commercial whaling, an activity that led most large cetacean species to brink of extinction ”.

One of the ways that fishing countries, such as Japan, managed in the past to proceed with commercial hunting despite the moratorium, was the argument of the so-called “scientific hunting” approved by the IWC. However, this year the International Court of Justice set a precedent by objecting to Japan to this type of practice, because it did not really correspond to any of the characteristics announced for research purposes, but rather it was for commercial purposes.

The Epoch Times

Video: Japan decides to start Commercial Whale Hunting, What will be its impact? - #IR #UPSC #IAS (June 2022).