Under a secret deal brokered between the six nations of the International Whaling Commission, Japan could be able to increase its whaling quota in the Northern Pacific Ocean in exchange for an agreement to slowly cut all its operations in the antarctic.
However, Greenpeace and other environmental groups are furious over the deal because it could result in more deaths under the supposedly scientific program. Greenpeace also plans to pressure the IWC to make its procedings more transparent to the public in the future before any deals are reached.
“This is Whalergate,” said Patrick Ramage, the global director of the International Fund for Animals anti-whaling program. “We have had growing concerns about the talks under way behind closed doors in the IWC. Those concerns are increased by the leaking of this secret plan.”
Under the document, apparently written mostly by Bush-appointee IWC head Bill Hogarth, Japan would phase out whaling in the antarctic by 20% for five consqcutive years, eventually ending whaling in the waters entirely. The killing of humpback and fin whales, which are endangered, would be ended immediately.
In exchange, “a larger quota could be assigned for coastal whaling provided that all annual quotas are consistent with the advice of the Scientific Committee,” according to the plan.
Japan says it will kill up to 1,000 whales this season. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been in the Southern Ocean protesting and directly engaging the whalers this season, just as they did last year as featured in the television show Whale wars.
Captain Paul Watson said the organization will continue to pursue the whaling fleet as long as they continue to kill whales.
More posts about the effort to end whaling:
- Greenpeace vs. Sea Shepherd: An Unfortunate Conflict
- New ‘Whale Wars’ TV Show Documents Anti-Whaling Activists
- Japan Plans to Arrest Sea Shepherd Crew
- Sea Shepherd Now has Former US Navy Lieutenant Onboard
- Animal Planet, Daryl Hannah Join Sea Shepherd Crew For More Whale Wars
- “Madagascar Two” Movie Inaccurate According to Sea Shepherd
- Australia, Greenpeace Opt Out of This Winter’s ‘Whale Wars’
- Japan Accuses Animal Planet of EcoTerrorism Prior to “Whale Wars” Premiere
Photo Credit: Greenpeace