Monday, June 19, 2006

Japan wins key whaling vote

In a bit of good news for pro-whaling nations led by Japan, the International Whaling Commission supported a resolution calling for the return of commercial whaling.

The resolution passed by just one vote, but a majority was needed to overturn the 1986 ban. It simply assures that the earlier ban was only a temporary measure that can now be lifted.

This issue has broken down into a battle between nations who do not benefit economically from whaling, and those who do.

South Korean activists with a full-scale model of a Minke whale protest outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul in 2005.
South Korean activists with a full-scale model of a Minke whale protest outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul in 2005. AFP photo from Yahoo News.

Pro-whaling nations argue that whale populations have recovered sufficiently to allow limited hunting of certain species. They also suggest that too many whales reduce fish populations, a position rejected by anti-whaling advocates.

"It's not going back to the commercial whaling, it should be the beginning of sustainable whaling, plus protection of depleted and endangered species," Japan's Deputy Whaling Commissioner Joji Morishita said.


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