FLORIANOPOLIS: Tempers flared at the International Whaling Commission on Thursday as it voted to back a Brazilian proposal which would safeguard the marine mammals in perpetuity, after a bitter debate, reports AFP.
The biennial meeting of the 89-nation body passed the host country’s “Florianopolis Declaration” which sees whaling as no longer being a necessary economic activity. The non-binding agreement was backed by 40 countries, with 27 pro-whaling states voting against.“We now have an important instrument to guide our path,” said Brazil’s commissioner Hermano Ribeiro.
“Welcome to the future,” said Nicolas Entrup of Swiss-based NGO OceanCare, calling the vote a “historical reorientation” of the organization away from the lethal exploitation of the sea animals.
The declaration—meant to enshrine a common vision for the 72-year old body—was angrily rejected by pro-whaling states. They are instead backing a Japanese proposal which envisages a “co-existence” between conservation and commercial whaling.
Antigua and Barbuda Commissioner Deven Joseph robustly dismissed the host country’s resolution as “a non-binding, irresponsible, abnormal, inconsistent, deceptive and downright wrong resolution.”
“We will never reach any sort of consensus,” he told the meeting, decrying the lack of consultations which he said should have taken into account the views of pro-hunt states.
“They can take this organization and send it to the abyss where whales go when they die!”