06/23/2010 - Talks aimed at reducing whaling by Japan, Norway and Iceland broke down Wednesday, effectively leaving management of the stock in the hands of the hunters.
Anthony Liverpool, the acting chairman of the International Whaling Commission, told delegates meeting in Agadir, Morocco, that “fundamental positions remained very much apart,” The Associated Press reported.
Delegates of the commission’s 88 member governments had been discussing whether to maintain a 24-year-old moratorium on commercial whaling. A 10-year compromise plan proposed by the United States and other antiwhaling nations would have allowed the three countries to resume commercial whaling, but at significantly lower levels and under tight monitoring.
Environmentalists put the blame squarely on Japan. Susan Lieberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group, said Tokyo has played “the most active role” in heading off marine conservation measures this year, including the defeat of proposals at a United Nations endangered species conference in March to safeguard Atlantic bluefin tuna, several species of sharks and coral.
Read the full article, Talks to Reduce Whale Hunting Collapse on the New York Times' Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.