The plan to ease commercial whaling

28 January 2009



The International Whaling Commission's plan to ease its ban on commercial whaling could benefit both sides politically, argues  Dr Tim Stephens.

The IWC may allow Japan to hunt whales off its coast in return for killing fewer whales in the Antarctic.

In an article in The Guardian, Dr Stephens suggested the plan promises Tokyo a face-saving way to abandon the expensive annual voyage to Antarctic waters and international recognition of commercial whaling in Japanese waters.

However, while he agreed that the proposal offers a way of securing the Antarctic sanctuary declared by the IWC in 1994, it fell slightly short in terms of protection for whales.

"If the deal is as suggested, it would certainly be a win for Antarctic whales, but not necessarily a win for whales in general," he said.

Dr Stephens is part of an Australian panel of experts that argues that Japan's scientific whaling contravenes international law.

To view the entire article -  Plan would allow commercial whaling around Japan 

Contact: Greg Sherington

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