Panel Upholds Whale Hunt Ban
Source: Manila Bulletin
PANAMA CITY (dpa) The International Whaling Commission upheld the global ban on commercial whale hunting as it ended its week-long annual meetings Friday.
A consortium of whale-hunting countries failed in its attempt to lift the commercial hunting moratorium in place since 1989. Denmark's request for a higher quota on behalf of its indigenous people on its Greenland commonwealth was rejected, while Japan withdrew for the time being its application to hunt whales along its coasts.
The IWC this week warned that eating whale meat is unhealthy, unanimously adopting a resolution introduced by Germany. The countries of South America went away empty-handed as whaling nations blocked their lobbying to establish a protection zone for whales in the southern Atlantic.
Walter Duebner, chief of the German delegation to the IWC, told dpa that the commission at this week's meeting showed ''that it is capable of making decisions.''
Denmark paid a high price for its attempt to raise its quota for indigenous Greenlanders by a single humpback whale - starting next year, Denmark may not hunt any more whales if it wants to remain in the IWC. Denmark's critics were outraged that whale meat intended for the Inuit's self-use has landed in Greenland supermarkets and restaurants, where it is consumed by tourists.
The resolution introduced by Germany on Thursday and adopted unanimously said that whale meat was contaminated with harmful substances. ''What is important is that consumers in countries where they catch whales are informed of the risks,'' Duebner said. ''That is especially true for pregnant women, children and older people.''
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