04/24/2010 - A new International Whaling Commission proposal that would authorize commercial whale hunting for the first time in 24 years in exchange for reducing the number killed each year sets in motion a public diplomacy battle.
A global whaling moratorium took effect in 1986, but three nations -- Japan, Norway and Iceland -- have continued hunting whales, killing about 1,700 annually in recent years. The United States and other anti-whaling countries have sought to strike a deal that would create an international monitoring system to ensure a steadily declining hunt.
Susan Lieberman, director of international policy at the Pew Environment Group, said that the proposal had good elements such as increased monitoring and a stronger IWC conservation panel, but that the Southern Ocean quotas are not based on scientific calculations and go against the idea of establishing protected areas.
Read the article International Whaling Commission Proposes Compromise on Ban on The Washington Post's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.