The BBC reports that the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), scheduled to be held in six weeks time in Panama, has the potential to be marred by politics. A new ruling means that countries must table their proposed motions at least 60 days prior to the meeting, and this gives a view into the meeting ahead. The South American group called for a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic at the last meeting, which was postponed due to a walk-out by Japan. They have thus reserved their right to put this to a vote as the first order of business. Japan has countered with a motion to re-open coastal whaling. Monaco’s Frederic Briand, with the support of many other anti-whaling countries, has also tabled a motion that would see whale conservation “sent upstairs” to the UN.
“We have a moratorium on commercial whaling that’s been in place for at least 25 years, but we see it’s business as usual for the whaling countries,” he said. “Despite the moratorium, about 35,000 whales have keen killed by three countries. So there’s a failure of the IWC to enforce its own resolutions.”