The Australian Marine Conservation Society is disappointed by the shameful tactics used by pro-whaling countries at the recently held International Whaling Commission in Slovenia to block vital whale conservation measures.
Pro-whaling countries chose to walk out of a key session so the proposal to establish a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, led by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, could not be voted on, a proposal that has been before the Commission for more than a decade.
Darren Kindleysides, AMCS Chief Executive notes “the tactics used by pro-whaling countries at the meeting to block a vital whale conservation measure were shameful.
“With the world’s whales and dolphins facing a wider range of threats today than ever before, we need nations to work together to ensure their future. Instead, this demonstrates the lengths to which some countries will go to ensure sanctuaries for whales and dolphins are not established. Many of those same countries were also trying to push for the global commercial whaling moratorium to be lifted at this meeting, a push that thankfully was once again not successful at this meeting.
“Nevertheless, important decisions for the ongoing operation of IWC were agreed in Slovenia, which will be fundamental to putting the organisation back on an even keel, and allowing the important conservation initiatives agreed to at this meeting to continue.”
AMCS welcomed the IWC’s agreement of a critical resolution to tackle the threat of ocean plastic pollution and the failure of attempts by pro-whaling nations to undermine the global moratorium on whaling.
The IWC’s precarious financial situation has also been addressed for now, but many other commitments were postponed for consideration over the next two years before the next meeting of the IWC in Peru in 2024.
Kindleysides added “from bycatch in fisheries to the impacts of plastic pollution, there is now a huge body of work underway by the IWC to ensure efforts to tackle ongoing threats to the world’s whales and dolphins.
“But the challenges for the IWC remain real. Over the next two years countries need to come together to put the future of the world’s cetaceans first and ensure the outrageous tactics deployed by some pro-whaling nations to block votes and progress for conservation does not continue to be a feature of this vital international body.
“We commend the Australian government for its ongoing leadership role in ensuring the IWC continues to focus efforts on essential conservation initiatives.
“We also applaud Australia for stepping up and taking on the position of Vice-Chair of the Commission, an influential position in ensuring a healthy and conservation focused future for the IWC.”
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established in 1946 as the global body responsible for management of whaling and conservation of whales. It is an inter-governmental organisation with a current membership of 88 governments from all over the world, including Australia.
Australia has been a global leader in whale conservation since the Fraser government banned whaling in 1979. Australia took and won the landmark International Court of Justice legal case against Japan over its whaling program in 2014.
Image. Credit: Earth.org
About the author
Editor, Australasian Leisure Management
Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management. Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.
She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.
Read more from this author
27th October 2021 - NSW National Parks remind boat and jet ski operators to observe whale watching distance regulations
10th September 2021 - Campaign launched to highlight risks to Exmouth Gulf humpback whales from proposed industrial port
24th August 2021 - Study cites need for global guidelines and stricter regulations for swim-with-whale tourism experiences
24th April 2021 - Whale watchers encouraged but required to observe distance regulations
28th September 2020 - Beluga whales take their first swim in open water sanctuary
1st July 2019 - Australian Marine Conservation Society calls for protection of whales against renewed Japanese hunting
30th January 2019 - Research shows industrialisation will threaten the survival of Ningaloo humpback whales
21st October 2022 - AMCS welcomes environment ministers committing to protect and conserve 30% of Australia’s marine areas by 2030
29th September 2022 - AMCS encouraged by Queensland’s new energy plan
24th September 2022 - AMCS new research shows 51% of regional Queenslanders want stronger climate action from government
26th August 2022 - AMCS fears for wildlife after Federal Government agrees to oil and gas exploration in marine parks
20th July 2022 - AMCS and Climate Council respond to new State of the Environment report
22nd May 2022 - AMCS considers Australian Election result as opportunity to reset climate change agenda
3rd March 2022 - AMCS considers UN agreement as vital for tackling plastic pollution in Australia’s wildest places
15th November 2021 - AMCS and Climate Council respond to Australia’s contribution at COP26