WOE FOR THE WHALES -- AND ALL FOR...THIS?
These are mammals that communicate like us, that live in pods like us, that care for their young like us...and this is what we're doing to them -- making them a delicacy on plates in Japan and other countries.
FRIGATE BAY, St. Kitts and Nevis (Reuters) - Conservation groups on Monday called on governments to redouble their efforts to save endangered whales after pro-whaling nations led by Japan won a majority at an international whaling group for the first time in more than 20 years.
The pro-whaling nations at the International Whaling Commission managed to push through a statement declaring a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling unnecessary and blaming whales for depleting fish stocks.
While largely symbolic, the declaration adopted at the commission's June 16-20 meeting in the Caribbean island state of St. Kitts and Nevis was a show of strength by the whaling bloc after it had spent more than two decades trying to find the muscle to challenge the ban.
Environmental activists, who were also criticized in the declaration, said the whaling nations' success should serve as a catalyst to stir U.S. public opinion, in particular, out of its slumber, and lead to a counteroffensive by anti-whaling nations at the next IWC meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, next year.
"For those governments that have failed to wake up and smell the coffee, this is the final wake-up call," said Greenpeace International spokesman Mike Townsley.
The great whales, the Earth's largest creatures, were almost driven into extinction by commercial whaling before the ban came into effect.
But Japan has continued to hunt whales and has killed thousands in the past 20 years under a loophole that allows for scientific research whaling. Iceland also conducts scientific whaling while Norway has ignored the moratorium.