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WWF and Whale Conservation – position statement

Press Release For immediate release - 30 July 2001

WWF and Whale Conservation – position statement

Following recent reports in the New Zealand media, WWF New Zealand wishes to clearly outline its position on whale conservation and the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

“WWF does not support commercial whaling. There is no social or scientific need which justifies the number of whales being hunted around the world today. Neither the resumption nor expansion of commercial whaling offers any credible benefit to whale conservation”, said Jo Breese, Chief Executive of WWF New Zealand.

WWF also considers that the current impasse within the IWC between pro-whaling countries and other members, as well as the erosion of the IWC’s credibility, threatens its ability to provide international protection to vulnerable and threatened whale species and to keep control of whaling.

This impasse has been deepened by the failure of the recent IWC meeting in London to take any steps at all to bring the current unregulated whaling under international control. Also, despite strong lobbying for the South Pacific and South Atlantic whale sanctuaries, these were not agreed.

“The meeting was bad for whale conservation,” said Cassandra Phillips, WWF’s Expert on Whales. “Countries could not even agree to put forward a proposal on the Revised Management Plan (RMP) to establish a precautionary safety net for any whaling that may occur in the future, while leaving the moratorium firmly in place.”

“The anti-whaling countries must realise that unless they develop proposals to get whaling under control, and unless they ensure these are accepted by the IWC, they will share some of the blame for the resumption of unsustainable large-scale whaling,” said Cassandra Phillips.

WWF wants to see a strong IWC and supports attempts to find acceptable solutions to its current deadlock. WWF does not support commercial whaling.

ENDS

For further information, contact:
Kyla Evans, Head of Press WWF-International, mobile 0041 794773564


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