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August 24, 2018

Whale-friendly nations urged to block Japan’s outrageous plan to bring back commercial whaling, ahead of International Whaling Commission meeting in Brazil

Humane Society International says it’s time to ‘Save the Whales’ again!

Humane Society International

  • Pilipenko/istock

LONDON— Ahead of the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission which begins next month in Florianópolis, Brazil, Humane Society International is urging all whale-friendly nations to stand united against Japan’s outrageous attempt to bring back killing whales for profit.

Humane Society International President Kitty Block says “People often assume we already saved the whales back in the 1980s, but sadly that’s not the case. The global whaling ban is under threat as never before, from a package of Japanese proposals to change IWC voting rules and bring back commercial whaling. Japan already hunts whales for bogus scientific purposes, and this aggressive new proposal is the latest in its relentless campaign to see the unspeakable cruelty of commercial whaling legitimised. We urge all whale-friendly nations attending the IWC to support conservation over killing by rejecting Japan’s outrageous proposition. These graceful giants face so many threats in our degraded oceans such as entanglement, plastic and noise pollution, and climate change, the last thing they need is to be put back in the whalers’ cross-hairs. It’s time to Save the Whales again!”

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The International Whaling Commission meeting begins on 4th September, and Japan has put forward a proposal package that could completely dismantle the global ban on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1982 to protect the whale populations that were decimated by industrial whaling. Whereas Japan’s current scientific whaling program kills several hundred whales a year under the guise of science, its new brazen proposal package is an open bid to re-introduce commercial whaling. It seeks to reduce the voting majority needed for commercial whaling quotas to be agreed from three-quarters of the IWC member nations voting to just a simple 50 per cent majority. If successful, the rule-change would pave the way for Japan, and undoubtedly others, to openly hunt whales.

Top IWC priorities for Humane Society International include:

  • Urging whale-friendly member nations to attend the meeting and oppose all the elements in Japan’s bid to lift the global ban on commercial whaling;
  • Encouraging strong support to reach the three-quarter voting majority needed to create a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary;
  • Awarding quotas for Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling only where there’s a clearly demonstrated need, ensuring that assigned quotas are regularly reviewed by the Commission, and ensuring that the most humane killing methods are used;
  • Promoting the IWC’s urgent and ground-breaking work to save whales and dolphins from the many threats they face, including entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes and strandings;

Humane Society International will have a team of experts at the IWC meeting available for interview. Give now to help whales and other animals.

ENDS

Media contact: HSI (United Kingdom) Wendy Higgins, Director of International Media: whiggins@hsi.org

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