Whaling compromise not on the cards

sperm-whale-little1An attempt to agree on a compromise between whaling nations and their opponents has failed. The Two days of private discussion were held by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) this week but an agreement could not be reached.

A draft proposal would have meant that Norway, Iceland and Japan would be allowed to hunt whales under strict international monitoring for 10 years. Talks of a deal have been going on for two years and a further 12 months’ “cooling off period” is also possible.

“After two years of talks… it appears our process is at an impasse,” said the US commissioner Monica Medina in a report by the BBC. She added that no particular party was responsible for the breakdown.

Many delegates now say that there is little point pursuing the point for a further year, as it is proving impossible to reach an agreement. Senior policy adviser of Pew Environmental Group Remi Parmentier said that allowing more time would “raise the question of the commission’s credibility.”

Anti-whaling groups generally welcomed the news of the breakdown, as they believe the draft proposal only legitimises whaling programmes in Norway, Iceland and Japan. The three countries would have had to adhere to a strict quota for their whaling activities.

“Had this deal lived, it would have lived in infamy,” said Patrick Ramage, head of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) whales programme.

“There may be a cooling-off period in the IWC, but meanwhile the whalers will be in hot pursuit of their prey,” he added.