European officials have ruled against a Danish bid to extend Greenland’s indigenous people’s current rights to whaling.
The move came during negotiations at International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama on Thursday, during which EU member state representatives and other delegates voted against extending Greenland’s current whaling practices beyond this year.
The ruling follows reports claiming that whale meat is available to tourists at restaurants and at supermarkets in Greenland, which delegates said reveals an industry that has been disguised to bypass global whaling bans.
Denmark officials had submitted a proposal aimed at allowing indigenous peoples to hunt some 1,300 whales, including 10 humpback specimens, per year through to 2018. The figure was a small rise on the previous allowance.
Danish commissioner Ole Samsing said following the talks, “We will go home and reflect on what should be done as regards the future. It looks to me that some irresponsible countries have just gone outside their responsibilities. What a pity,” the Khaleej Times reports.
In contrast, New Zealand’s envoy Gerard van Bohemen said to reporters, “For the past five years, we have seen an effort by Greenland to progressively ramp up its whale catch and insist that this commission be complicit”.
Similarly, Monaco commissioner and outspoken conservationist Frederic Briand said, “This issue also of whale meat being available to tourists, increasingly in a large number, does not make their case particularly strong.”