June 16, 2006
A WHALE OF A STORY
Now HERE'S a great idea.
Earth's largest animals are barely holding their own now in the planet's warming oceans, still subject to illegal hunting (primarily by Japan) and the hapless, helpless victims of other environmental issues.
But have a read of this gem:
For National Geographic News
June 16, 2006
Pro-whaling nations may take control of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) this weekend for the first time since commercial whale hunting was banned 20 years ago.
Delegates from the 70-nation commission are gathering on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts for the IWC's annual meeting, which runs today through June 20.
Ever since the commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, Japan has worked tirelessly to restore the whale hunt. The Japanese government argues that whaling is central to Japanese culture.
This year antiwhaling activists fear Japan may finally get its way. The island nation, many believe, has recruited enough countries into the pro-whaling camp to begin chipping away at whale protections.
This morning, however, Japan lost a vote on a proposal to remove from the meeting agenda discussion of small whales, dolphins, and porpoises—which conservationists consider some of the most endangered species in the whale family.
But Japan may well have its majority before the meeting is out.
"The first vote was in keeping with the status quo," said Susan Lieberman, director of the Global Species Program for the conservation organization WWF, speaking from the St. Kitts meeting.
While the first vote is encouraging for the antiwhaling community, Lieberman says, several nations had yet to arrive at the meeting or pay their dues. At least two of those nations, she adds, are pro-whaling.
A majority of pro-whaling votes on the whaling commission will not overturn the ban. That requires a 75 percent majority. But the anti-whaling community fears a shifting tide.
So you've got the whaling weenies apparently gaining more power and I'm sure that can't be good news for Canada's beautiful Belugas or any other species. And God love Newfies, but our Canucklehead government continues to permit the annual clubbing of baby seals off the Newfoundland coast despite the international protests.
You would have thought they might have learned something about the death of the cod fishery off Newfoundland's Grand Banks, but apparently not.
Timberwolves, grizzly bears, African and Indian elephants...you name it, it's vanishing or becoming more threatened every day. And don't even get me STARTED on our treatment of domesticated animals.
Just another rant from just another voice in the wilderness...