Whale Wars May Finally End? The U.S. Tries to Make a Deal

by Julian Ku

Apologies for this interruption of a great VJIL discussion on Chris Bruner’s fascinating article, but I can’t resist yet another post on the continuing international dispute over whaling.  The NYT reports the U.S. is trying hard to broker a deal between the anti-whaling nations (read Australia) and whaling nations like Japan.

The compromise deal, which has generated intense controversy within the 88-nation International Whaling Commission and among antiwhaling activists, would allow the three whaling countries to continue hunting whales for the next 10 years, although in reduced numbers.

In exchange, the whaling nations — which have long exploited loopholes in an international treaty that aims to preserve the marine mammals — would agree to stricter monitoring of their operations, including the placing of tracking devices and international monitors on all whaling ships and participation in a whale DNA registry to track global trade in whale products.

This doesn’t quite sound like what Australia wanted, but it appears the Australians are on board.  So, sadly for me, we may be seeing an end, for the time being, of a potential ICJ showdown between Australia and Japan.  But there is always hope: negotiations are ongoing and could still fall apart.


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