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More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Pro-whaling Nations Block Whale Sanctuary

Whaling. (c) Mark Votier

The main agenda item on the opening day at this year’s IWC meeting in Panama has already caused controversy, as a Latin American-led proposal to declare the South Atlantic a whale sanctuary has been rejected after the pro-whaling nations and their allies blocked its progress.
 
The South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would promote conservation efforts aimed at protecting the 52 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the region against hazards such as climate change and pollution, and encourage non-lethal economic activities such as whale watching.
 
However, despite votes in favour out-weighing those against the creation of a Sanctuary (38 for, 21 against), the ¾ majority needed to bring about its creation was not achieved.
 
The idea of a sanctuary in the South Atlantic is not a new one. It has been proposed at previous IWC meetings and was originally submitted by Brazil and Argentina in 2001. But, this is the first successful vote on any proposal for four years.
 
Vanesa Tossenberger from the WDCS Latin American office said:  “Even if the Sanctuary was not established this time around, the vast majority of countries present were in favour, and this was also the first vote on the proposal for four years- which is, in itself, a positive development, especially considering that a vote on the Sanctuary at the IWC meeting in 2011 resulted in a walk out by the pro whaling nations”.
 
Despite a range of excuses given by the pro-whaling nations against a sanctuary being established in the region, WDCS points out those whales in this area are still suffering from the extensive commercial hunt in the past and have not recovered yet. Also, as whales are highly migratory species, a comprehensive and global approach is necessary to protect them. Furthermore, whale watching and eco-tourism is a huge benefit to coastal States concerned.
 
WDCS is saddened by the outcome of this vote and that the pro whaling countries were able to block a highly important conservation measure, but we will keep on fighting.
 
Countries voting against a sanctuary – Tanzania, Togo, Tuvalu, Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Nauru, Cambodia, China, Ghana, Grenada, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Norway, Palau, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia