Friday, May 28, 2010

More on the IWC

As the next meeting of the IWC approaches (it's at the end of June), the debate slogs on. Australia is now taking Japan to court over whaling, as it has threatened to do for a while now. Various governments are struggling to clarify their positions as the public realizes that the proposed plan would reopen the can of worms known as commercial whaling. On The Diane Rehm show this week (definitely worth a listen), US IWC Commissioner Monica Medina helpfully explained that the commercial whaling moratorium would simultaneously be in existence and not in existence under the plan (it should be noted that the US no longer will support the plan in its exact current form). Not in existence because it's clear that the plan allows the resumption of commercial whaling, which ostensibly means that a moratorium on commercial whaling must have ended, in existence because Monica says it will be. You may feel that allowing Iceland, Norway and Japan to resume commercial whaling and banning everyone else from doing so is a good idea if it brings those countries back under IWC scrutiny. Fine. But don't pretend that the moratorium is still in place when the thing it moratorium-izes has resumed, even if only by a few countries.

As always, a great place to get an informed perspective on current IWC-related developments is Sidney Holt's blogs for IFAW. Sidney is ASOC's representative at the IWC and has more experience than just about anyone else currently involved, including those representing governments.