27 June 2005

Whaling issue 'still unresolved'

The 57th Annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) concluded its five day meeting on Friday in the South Korean coastal town of Ulsan with an agreement to hold further talks on a management procedure of whale hunts.

IWC member countries accepted a resolution presented by Germany, Ireland and South Africa which plans further discussions over a revised management scheme (RMS) to permit controlled catches.

Since 1986 there has been a prohibition against the commercial hunt for large whales.

The working group is to meet ahead of the next IWC conference to discuss the "remaining issues that must be resolved before adoption of the RMS can be considered".

The approval guarantees that the discussions are continued, said German delegation leader Peter Bradhering.

Discussions on a RMS, which the IWC has been working on for years, could replace the current ban on whaling.

Neither the pro-whaling countries such as Japan, Norway or Iceland nor the anti-whaling camp that includes Australia, New Zealand and Germany have been able to compromise on a management scheme draft.

On Tuesday, the commission rejected Japan's proposal to replace the prohibition on commercial whaling with an RMS to allow controlled catches.

Thursday, Japan was handed another defeat when a proposal to allow limited hunts of 150 minke whales annually was rejected. Japan then withdrew a second request to catch 150 humpback whales.

Source: www.news24.com


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