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Yesterday's votes at the IWC

Yesterday's votes at the IWC - Same procedure as last year

High North News (21.05.02): The IWC today revisited several different issues. The stalemate continues as no proposal achieved the necessary three quarters majority vote to come into effect.

For the 15th time, Japan's request for an "interim relief quota" of 50 minke whales to four coastal communities was rejected. There were 20 votes in favour, 21 against, three abstentions and one member country did not participate in the vote.

Environment ministers of Australia and New Zealand, David Kemp and Sandra Lee, introduced for the third time a proposal for a South Pacific sanctuary. Again the proposal failed, with 25 votes in favour, 16 against and five abstentions.

Also the proposal by Brazil and Argentina for a South Atlantic sanctuary failed with 23 votes in support, 18 against and four abstentions.

Japan also proposed a change to the existing Southern Ocean sanctuary. While the present wording says that commercial whaling in the sanctuary is prohibited "irrespective of the conservation status" of whales; Japan suggested that the prohibition on commercial whaling "shall not apply unless there is clear advice from the Scientific Committee that it is required for conservation purposes". As expected, also this proposal failed, 17 votes in favour, 25 against and 2 abstained.

Today's meeting will start discussing renewal of aboriginal whaling subsistence quotas to USA, Russia, Greenland and St.Vincent and the Grenadines of bowhead, gray, fin, humpback and minke whales. It is expected that these quotas will go through. Normal practice is to accept them by consensus.

Further reading:
IWC Survival Kit
http://www.highnorth.no/iwc2002


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