Anti-whaling countries have rejected Japan’s proposal which could have restarted commercial hunting of the great sea mammals through backdoor. The decision was taken at annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission at Anchorage in Alaska.
Last year the pro-whaling camp had been able to win the majority by a single vote for a motion calling for resumption of commercial whaling. The ban on whaling could not be lifted as it requires a three-fourth majority. This year the balanced shifted back in favour of anti-whaling nations with addition of more anti-whaling nations as members.
According to the provisions in the 1986 international moratorium, commercial whaling is banned to save whales from extinction. Though Japan is following the international moratorium, it is making full use of loopholes in the moratorium to hunt for whales. The moratorium has provisions allowing whale-hunt for scientific studies and for indigenous hunt.
Countries like Greenwich and the US want to extend and expand their quota for indigenous hunt. Greenwich also wants to include humpbacks and bowheads for the first time in indigenous hunt quota. There are concerns that the increase in quota for indigenous hunt will make it too close to commercial hunting as much of the whale meat from these hunts are sold in markets.
Like many species, whale have been facing threats to their existence owing to hunting and climate change. Though the ban on commercial hunting has been able to restrain the population from dwindling to extinction, the human-induced global warming has affected them severely with their decreasing availability of food, especially krills population going down drastically due to the global warming.
The world will have to do away with all whaling including that by indigenous people and also safe guard the earth from climate change to let whales survive in the oceans. If not, we are soon going to lose many of whale species owing to whaling and after some time whales may be a past thing all together.
Image Source: Alaskareport.com