Critical week for the future of whaling

Author // Sally Hamilton Categories // Whale & Dolphin General News

Critical week for the future of whaling

Members of the International Whaling Commission discuss a Japanese proposal that would see the moratorium on commercial whaling end after 32 years.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) gather biennially to discuss a range of issues related to the protection of cetaceans globally. 2018's meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil, has seen a controversial proposal tabled by Japan that would end the ban on commercial whaling established in 1986.

The ironically named proposal "Way Forward" would allow commercial whaling to resume in 2020 in all populations deemed to be abundant enough for exploitation by the IWC's Scientific Committee, opening the door for countries to join countries like Iceland, Norway & Japan in slaughtering whales once more.

The proposal does not, however, outline a long term plan for managing whaling, and according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), it blurs the lines between aboriginal subsistence hunting and commercial whaling.

Whaling is a cruel and barbaric practice that has no place in civilised society, with animals often dying slowly and in great pain, despite claims by whalers to the contrary. 

Furthermore, consumption of whale meat represents a serious threat to human health due to an array of toxins that bioaccumulate in cetaceans, meaning that there is a public health issue with eating whales, as well as an ethical and conservation imperative.

ORCA oppose whaling of all types and urge all member countries to vote against this proposal and help keep our oceans safe for future generations of these wonderful animals.