Thursday, June 24, 2010
An attempt to resume legal commercial whaling hit a brick wall at the International Whaling Commission meeting in Morocco.
The U.S.-brokered compromise would have lifted a 24-year-old ban on for-profit whaling in exchange for enforced hunting limits. Currently, the countries of Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to kill whales despite the ban - and sell the lucrative meat - under a dubious loophole allowing them to set their own hunting quotas for scientific purposes.
Australia and Latin American IWC members sided with some environmental groups that had opposed lifting the commercial whaling ban, saying it would set a dangerous precedent by legalizing whale hunting. But other activists viewed the stalemate as a setback for hopes of reducing the total annual whale catch.
The idea, however, is not dead yet. Observers says it may be revived at next year's IWC meeting. In the meantime, the three whaling nations are expected to continue hunting as before.