On the eve of the 61st annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is calling on the Australian government to fight to save the global ban on whaling.
The 85 member country meeting of the IWC beginning on Monday meets 22-26 June in Madeira, Portugal. Foremost on the agenda are discussions about the future of the IWC itself. With the Government of Japan pushing for a whaling quota, the global ban on whaling introduced in 1986 is now in jeopardy.
"If we thought we'd save the whale, we were wrong," said Darren Kindleysides, AMCS Director.
"Incredibly almost 30,000 of the planet's whales have been killed since the ban of whaling. In recent years, Japan has doubled the number of whales killed under the thin disguise of scientific research in the Southern Ocean. Furthermore, the last year has seen more whale meat traded internationally than in the entire decade before," he continued.
"The report card is not good. And now, at this year's meeting, the IWC is under more pressure than at any time before to cave in to demands by some nations for coastal whaling - simply another name for commercial whaling and another attempt to end the global moratorium," said Kindleysides.
"The IWC is in urgent need of a root and branch overhaul. It was established 61 years ago as a whalers club and is in urgent need of modernisation. Since then whale populations have crashed and conservation, not exploitation, is the immediate imperative. The IWC must be dragged into the 21st century," he continued.
"The Australian Government as a long standing and strong opponent of whaling must do all it can at the IWC meeting to save the moratorium and to reform the IWC into a global body to advance whale conservation," Kindleysides concluded.
Darren Kindleysides, AMCS Director mobile: 0422 396 077. Landline (07) 3393 5811
Donate to our Urgent Whale Tax Appeal.
Click here to donate today.
1. The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is Australia's only national charity dedicated exclusively to protecting life in the sea. We work to create marine national parks, save our endangered ocean wildlife and make our fisheries sustainable. We are the voice for our seas.
2. AMCS started in the 1960s to legally contest and successfully defeat an application to mine coral on the Great Barrier Reef. AMCS then spear-headed the campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef in a Marine Park. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is now an international tourist destination and one of the natural wonders of the world.
3. Australia's much loved author and four times Miles Franklin Literary Award recipient, Tim Winton is AMCS Patron. Other high profile supporters include Powderfinger lead singer Bernard Fanning, ex Olympian NBA basketballer Luc Longley and executive chef Guy Grossi from Grossi Florentino restaurant in Melbourne.
4. AMCS has over 18,000 supporters throughout Australia and abroad.
5. As part of our work to make our fisheries sustainable, AMCS produced Australia?s Sustainable Seafood Guide, Australia's only independent national guide to choosing our seafood wisely. The consumer guide to avoiding unsustainable or overfished species can be ordered online at www.marineconservation.org.au