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Confusion and resentment abound in whaling talks

June 22, 2010

I have been reluctant to add to the blogosphere debate on this issue, because so much is being reported already. At the beginning of day two, the meeting is still in unprecedented closed door talks, debating and negotiating the whaling deal in secret. 

In their press statement yesterday as the public meeting was closed, and the Government delegates went behind closed doors, said Nicolas Entrup, WDCS said:  

 “How can we hope that the IWC can actually represent the people of the world to do the right thing for whales when we see yet another sign of how the pro-whalers and the USA manipulate the IWC system to take their dirty dealings behind closed doors. When all that the public get to see is reports of scandal and corruption, why should any of us trust anything these countries are doing out of the light of media and NGO scrutiny”.“Excluding civil society from the negotiations when the fate of thousands of whales is hanging in the balance is certainly not the way forward for the IWC. 

If the IWC member governments want to regain the trust of their peoples they need to pull the plug now, stop these flawed and lowest common denominator negotiations and leave the moratorium untouched. Anything else can only be seen as a victory for the powers of blackmail and corruption.”

There are more online protests than I have ever seen before, yet, political leaders seems more resolutely fixed in position than ever before. The BBC online footage from yesterday gives a flavour of how entrenched the debate has become. Andrew Darby, reporting in the Sydney Morning Herald is right. 

“The surprise decision to send struggling whaling peace talks behind closed doors today is seen to offer little hope of bridging the global divide over the hunt”

 What I find most startling though, is the split in the conservation side. A few Governments with a few NGOs now seem to favour a compromise, but it is one that just doesn’t add up. Why is such a compromise even needed, when whaling is so clearly an industry of the past, and the information we have to hand now tells us that is where it belongs.

So, while short  all I can offer is my confusion about humanity!I am tweeting throughout the IWC meeting, should you wish to keep up to date with the events as they happen. The meeting is closed until Wednesday am Moroccan time, and the tweets will flow from then!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sweetwater Tom permalink
    June 22, 2010 8:48 pm

    I am very pro-whale. It seems to me that any IWC result that reduces the slaughter would be good, regardless of the name put on that result. Someone asked once “Would you rather be right or be happy?” I would rather be happy.

    I am frustrated by the closed-door policy, but if it results in an improvement in the situation, it may be a Good Thing.

  2. June 22, 2010 9:25 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t disagree with you Sweetwater Tom. The problem as I see it – and this is my personal view – is that the conservation side is going in with the intention of giving far too much away, whereas the pro-whalers are giving away almost nothing. I am also deeply concerned that by legitimizing whaling again – by saying that it is ‘approved’ in some form – it will be difficult, if not impossible, to prevent it continuing indefinitely at the end of the proposed 10 year phase down period.

    I’ve asked myself your wise ‘right or happy’ question quite a few times now and I honestly don’t know the answer. I am just left with an unsettled feeling in my gut that we are about to make a big mistake. I guess only time will tell, and I hope I am wrong.

    What should be said is that good people are trying hard and, at the end of the day, we are all working towards the same goal, even if our route for getting there is different.

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