NY Times: US leading effort for new whaling limits

The New York Times is reporting on a compromise deal being proposed to the 88 member nations of the International Whaling Commission. The result would be a continuation of whaling by countries like Japan and Iceland, but in reduced numbers for the next decade.

The proposal targets the illegal trade of whale meat and introduces a tracking system for whaling activities – in theory anyway.

But Japan and Iceland have defied regulations against whaling for decades. I really don’t think anyone can actually expect these whaling countries to ultimately phase out their hunts through this new proposal. And if they don’t like the end result of the compromise, they’ll simply opt out or fall back on their so-call “scientific research.”

For any commission members that believe that one, I’ve got some acreage I own on the Moon I’ll sell you for a great price.

The planet does have international laws in place to target other atrocities – right? There has to be a better way to force an end to whaling and place the practice under the umbrella of international law. Or the sanctions against whaling nations should be so severe that it becomes too painful for it to continue.

The NT Times story reports the number of whales killed has been steadily on the increase for the last two decades – from 300 in 1990 to 1,700 last year, under an international moratorium.

The Earth’s oceans are unhealthy as it is and whales face many other threats. But above and beyond any of the logical arguments against whaling is the fact that these marine mammals are highly intelligent beings and thus deserve our protection from backward, stone-age cruelty.

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