Published on Thursday, July 05, 2012
Following revelations by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) of the wide-spread commercial sale of whale meat in Greenland to tourists, concerned today by refusing to grant Greenland any increase in its hunt of large whales for so-called aboriginal subsistence needs. Indeed, in a procedural failure, Denmark failed to get any quota approved at all.
Greenland (a Danish overseas territory) was seeking to increase the number of endangered fin and humpback whales it kills for the subsistence needs of its native people for the next six years, but the undercover operation conducted by WDCS exposed how Greenland has been actively undermining the IWC’s ban on commercial whaling by openly selling whale meat in the vast majority of its restaurants and also in supermarkets.
The EU offered to amend Denmark’s proposal, but Denmark refused, demanding that its original proposal was voted on.
The IWC vote was 25 in favour, and 34 against, 3 abstained.
Criticism of Greenland was led by the Latin block of countries who pointed out there was little difference between what Greenland was doing in feeding whales to tourists and that practiced by commercial whaling operations.
Claims by Denmark on behalf of Greenland that they would not stop selling whale meat to tourists and that Greenland’s whalers could use baseball bats to kill whales if they wanted to, did little to endear Greenland to the rest of the IWC.
The European Union struggled to come to a position due to ongoing confusion over its internal decision making processes. WDCS worked extensively with the EU Commission to give guidance to the EU Member States and eventually, EU Members who shared WDCS’s concern that Greenland’s whaling as not in fact properly regulated aboriginal subsistence whaling, forced an internal vote on the Danish proposal.
The EU tried to amend the proposal from the floor, but their offer was rejected by Denmark.
WDCS CEO, Chris Butler-Stroud stated: “The EU finally sent its own signal to Denmark that it needs to clean up the mess that is Greenlandic whaling, and that commercial sales to non-aboriginal peoples will not be tolerated.”
In response to the revelations of these ASW abuses in Greenland, several European tour operators to Greenland have responded by pledging to WDCS that they will not promote whale meat consumption to their customers (1)
WDCS, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, is a charity dedicated solely to the protection and welfare of whales, dolphins and porpoises and their environment. WDCS serves as a global voice for the conservation of whales and dolphins through campaigns, scientific research, field projects, legal advocacy and educational outreach programs. WDCS’s North American office is located in Plymouth, MA – learn more at www.whales.org.
For Email Marketing you can trust