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Double-Standards Hold St Vincent Hostage

MEDIA RELEASE
23 May 2002

Double-Standards Hold St Vincent Hostage

Shimonoseki, Japan – St Vincent and the Grenadines deplores the actions of the anti-whaling IWC members in forcing aboriginal subsistence quota renewals to become a negotiating issue.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines was told at the beginning of the meeting a group of 14 anti-whaler nations intended that St Vincent would receive a zero quota of humpback whales, but indicated they would revisit this position if St Vincent supported the sanctuary proposals,” the IWC Commissioner to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Selmon Walters, said.

Subsequently, St Vincent abstained on the sanctuary vote. But St Vincent was then told that the anti-whalers could only support a quota of two whales. Later, they said they’d support St Vincent’s proposal for four whales, but only for one year.

“This double-standard is not acceptable when all other aboriginal quota allocations are for a five year period,” Mr Walters said.

“It is now time to highlight the hypocrisy of the position of the anti-whaling nations. The Caribbean stock of humpback whales is in a stronger position than the bowhead and can sustain a catch quota of much more than we currently take. We won’t stand aside and have anti-use nations dictate to us and then expect to go home with what they want – that’s not going to happen.”

“We do regret that the Eskimos bowhead quota request was turned down, but all the aboriginal needs are being held hostage by the anti-whaling nations and it’s time that the concerns of indigenous people and developing countries receive fair treatment by the IWC,” Mr Walters said.


Ends

For more information and interviews contact St Vincent and Grenadines Commissioner IWC Media Office on 0081 90 3103 5840 or 0081 80 3005 7507



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