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Environm Ciencia, Tecnologia y Economia

Whales MEPs set to back international whaling ban

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en febrero 27, 2009

MEPs set to back international whaling ban


MEPs are calling for tough new measures to be taken against whaling. In a market where 1000 whales are killed each year for commercial purposes, British Liberal Elspeth Attwooll is proposing stricter penalties to deter pro-whaling countries.

The reasons for the dwindling whale figures are varied and many. One of the key contributing factors is commercial whaling. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission banned all commercial whaling.


Fact Box

0.             1/4 of whale species are currently endangered

0.             9 species are in danger of extinction

0.             Norway, Iceland and Japan all have commercial whaling industries

0.             The blue whale is the biggest mammal: averaging 25 meters long, 100 tonnes


However, not all countries signed up and many still flaunt the ban by embarking on “scientific whaling projects”, which skirts the ban by killing the whales for study. There is some evidence that carcasses from scientific whaling manage to find their way onto the consumer market.


Whales are also falling victim to changing environmental conditions. Climate change, pollution, ship strikes, fish by-catch and noise pollution have all been instrumental in whale deaths.


Scientific loophole should be closed


Elspeth Attwooll in her own initiative report says the IWC ban on whaling should continue, but calls for an end to the use of lethal scientific whaling methods.


Other points from the report include:


0. Banning international trade in whale products.

0. Designating substantial areas as sanctuaries with indefinitely prohibited whaling; establish Marine Protected areas.

0. Encouraging the use of selective fishing gear to avoid by-catches of smaller species.

0. Limited hunting under clear, fixed quotas by communities that traditionally hunt whales to live.


MEPs will vote on the report on Thursday morning, 19 February.




Source PE





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