Humpback whale breaching via Wikipedia
Last week we got word that a compromise plan on international whaling, which would attempt to bring Japan, Iceland, and Norway back into the fold, was forthcoming from the International Whaling Commission. Now we know a bit more: Under the sometimes-if-bizarrely-called 'peace plan', whaling in the Southern Ocean would be legalized for a period of ten years.WATCH VIDEO: Focus Earth 2 - Saving the Whales, Is This Eco-Terrorism?
Under the proposal, 65 fin whales could be killed over a ten year period in the Southern Ocean, while in the North Pacific 500 sei whales could be taken. Both species are listed as endangered. Humpback, minke, sperm, and Bryde's whales would also be permitted to be killed. WWF describes the situation:
The proposed quotas are not set using the IWC's own scientific methods, but are a result of political bargaining which has little if anything to do with the whales' themselves. Setting quotas for commercial whaling based on politics not science would be a step backwards for IWC.
As for the ramifications of this, I really can't say it any better than NRDC already has:
The deal would ... reward Japan, Norway and Iceland for years of defying international law. It could also open the door to whaling by other countries; Korea has already stated its interest in resuming whaling.
In addition, the deal does not base catch limits on science, gives no guarantees that the whaling nations won't continue to whale under legal loopholes, and breathes life into an otherwise dying industry. The deal also acknowledges that countries could not reach a compromise that would prevent whaling nations from trading in whale meat or products.
I understand the motivation in trying to compromise in this situation, considering that otherwise we're essentially at an impasse on the issue with these nations, but at the same time it really just seems like a big fail.
The IWC will vote on the proposal at the end of June at a meeting in Agadir, Morocco.
More on the Whaling:
International Whaling 'Peace Plan' Moving Forward
Minke Whale Genetics Study Shows Faulty Logic in Japan's Pro-Whaling Argument
Greenpeace Blocks Ship Loaded with Whale Meat Heading for Japan
Sea Shepherd Harassment Cuts Japanese Whale Catch in Half