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Iceland's membership of Whaling Com a threat


Iceland's membership of International Whaling Commission threatens whales conservation

Amsterdam/Auckland, On the first day of the fifth Special Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Iceland was voted in by a single vote as a full member –even though, Iceland does not accept the current IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. Iceland's ratification papers to the convention include a reservation to the moratorium, which has been in effect since 1986.

"The decision to allow Iceland to rejoin the IWC without their agreement to uphold the moratorium will seriously undermine the ability of the Commission to make binding decisions on it members and sets a highly damaging precedent. What is to stop other countries leaving the IWC and rejoining with objections to decisions they don't like?'' said Sarah Duthie, Greenpeace whale campaigner.

“The whaling nations are now reaping the rewards of the Government of Japan’s vote buying strategy. Of the nineteen votes cast in favour of Iceland’s rejoining with a reservation nine were from countries whose position in the IWC is directly linked to their receipt of fisheries grant aid from Japan,” added Page (1).

Visit us at our website: www.greenpeace.org

Notes:

(1) These countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Dominica, Grenada, Guinea, Palau, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and the Solomon Islands. For more information on Japan's vote buying activities, read the Greenpeace report, "Buying A Return To Commercial Whaling", a Greenpeace briefing, April 2002. Download it at: www.greenpeace.org/multimedia/download/1/9485/0/Buying_ a_Return_t o_Commercial_Whaling.pdf

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