Governments must put whale conservation before politics | WWF South Africa

Governments must put whale conservation before politics

Posted on 18 June 2010
Southern right whale and calf
© Peter Chadwick
The 88 governments belonging to the IWC will be voting later this week on a new proposal put forward by the IWC Chair that would allow commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean for the first time in almost 25 years and would set commercial whaling quotas for whales listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered.

More than 33,000 whales have been killed since the ban on commercial whaling was put in place.

“What we are looking to achieve is a decision which is good for whales. It is as simple as that.. We are here only to avoid further damage being done to whale populations We do not accept any other compromises.”

“A compromise solution which brings whaling under the control of the IWC is clearly needed. But we will not support a compromise at any cost. A compromise has to be in the best interests of whale conservation and must, at the very minimum prevent whaling in sensitive areas and of threatened whale species.”

“The recent disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a stark reminder that the world’s whales are facing a raft of other threats – oil and gas development, underwater noise, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and climate change. IWC needs to put whaling politics aside so it can focus on and address environmental threats to whales, for the benefit of the world’s whales, and the coastal communities that rely on those whales for whale watching.”

“The IWC is at a crossroads—and the integrity of the commission is in the balance,” Wendy Elliott added.

Southern right whale and calf
© Peter Chadwick Enlarge