02/11/2009 - Momentum is building toward a breakthrough international agreement on whale conservation, a group of scientists, diplomats and lawyers reviewing whaling negotiations said Wednesday.
The group of experts who attended the two-day meeting that ended Tuesday in Lisbon said they sensed a growing consensus among countries on reducing the number of whales killed and creating a South Atlantic whale sanctuary.
However, Japan is still reluctant to accept an outright ban on whaling, they said, and governments have given no public signs that an agreement may be near.
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Peter Bridgewater, a former leader of the whaling commission, said there now was "a confluence of good vibes" among nations, providing "a much better opportunity than in the past decade or soto reach an agreeement."
"There could be what I would call a golden moment to try and resolve some of the outstanding issues," Bridgewater told reporters a day after chairing the Lisbon meeting organized by the U.S.-based Pew Environment Group.
Read the full article Whaling Conference Sees Possible Breakthrough Deal on the International Herald Tribune's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.