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July 6, 2012

HSI Calls for Global Opposition to Korea’s Whaling as IWC 64 Closes

Delegation cites Korean declaration, St. Vincent and the Grenadines quota among negative outcomes

Humane Society International

  • IWC 64 turned out to be quite a mixed bag for the worldwide whale conservation movement. Matthew Hull/iStockphoto

  • HSI's Kitty Block and Bernie Unti led the organization's delegation at IWC 64 in Panama. HSI

  • HSI's delegation in Panama also included Grettel Delgadillo and Rebecca Regnery (right). HSI

Humane Society International’s delegation to the 64th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, which ended today in Panama City, Panama, is calling upon conservation nations of the IWC to challenge Korea’s plans to go whaling under Article VIII scientific exemption clause. Under that provision, Japan has killed 9,000 whales in the 21st century.

“Korea’s July 4 announcement that it wanted to whale just like Japan under the scientific exemption, was an affront to the evolving preservationist ethos of the IWC, and we expect the United States and other nations to treat it that way,” Kitty Block, HSI vice president and head of the HSI delegation in Panama City. “Like Japan’s small type coastal whaling proposal, Korea’s declaration of intent to commence scientific whaling can only be seen as part of the ongoing effort by whaling nations to upend the commercial whaling moratorium.”

HSI commended the IWC for the progress its member nations made in addressing a number of important topics, including the serious health problems associated with the human consumption of whale products, the pressing need for increased action to protect the world’s critically endangered small cetaceans, and continuing initiatives to strengthen the operations of the IWC itself.

HSI welcomes the growing support for the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary and other conservation measures championed at IWC 64, and praised the Latin American bloc for its consistency in championing such initiatives.

However, HSI expressed its strong disapproval for the support the United States delegation gave to the aboriginal subsistence whaling proposals of Greenland and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. HSI contends that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines quota was approved for political reasons, not on its merits.

Greenland’s increased quota was voted down despite the U.S. decision to join the whaling bloc in supporting it. If precedent is followed, Greenland should forgo its hunt until such time the IWC approves an amended quota.

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Media Contact: Humane Society International: Rebecca Basu, 301-258-3152

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations—backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org

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