by MPD
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

We know that Pierce Brosnan loves whales and we’re super excited to see that he’s taking some major steps to protect these mighty animals.

Brosnan has teamed up with The Humane Society of the United States to convince the International Whaling Commission to continue protecting whales around the world.

For the first time in 25 years, on June 21, the International Whaling Commission will meet to decide whether to effectively lift the prohibition on commercial whaling. If this happens,  it will give Japan, Iceland and Norway free will to hunt whales.

In a letter, Pierce says:

“We cannot allow three nations to decide the fate of the world’s whales. In 1982, the nations of the world recognized that whales could not survive if commercial whaling continued. In 2010, when whales face even more threats than ever before — including toxic pollution, climate change, loss of habitat, ship strikes, and oil and gas exploration — how could anyone believe it’s safe to let whalers off their leash? YOU can make all the difference.”

Wanna help protect whales? Great! Simply visit the HSUS’s website and tell your country’s officials to NOT lift the ban on commercial whaling! It’s time to use that voice, people!

  • David

    His letter is nice PR but short on facts.

    First, in 1982 37 countries were in the IWC so that is only about 20% of the nations of the world and only 25 voted for the moratorium which is only about 13% of the nations of the world.

    Second the proposal doesn’t remove the moratorium and ‘let whalers off their leash’. I expect he knows, or at least the HSUS knows, what the proposal really says. It would not allow any new countries to start whaling, it would have the IWC set the quotas for Norway, Iceland and Japan and those quotas would be lower than the current quotas they set for themselves, it would institute on ship monitoring and point of sale monitoring and it would prohibit any international trade in whale meat.

    Sure doesn’t sound like it would lead to massive new slaughter of whales.

    Some have complained that the proposed lower quotas are still higher than the usual whale catch, since the full quota is not normally reached. I haven’t seen the proposed numbers for Iceland and Norway but for Japan in the Southern Hemisphere it is 410 for five years then drops to 205 for the next 5 years. The last time Japan caught less than 410 whales was 1998, so it would reduce their catch.

    And what is the counter proposal. To leave things as they are? That sounds like it will benefit no one except the whalers.

    The proposal could be a first step to stopping whaling but if you will only accept going straight to zero rather than in steps that is fine. But don’t lie about what the proposal actual says.

    • Bernard

      The situation is not so simple as David suggests, and the appeal is not misleading or factually incorrect, certainly no more so than the articulations of those who are pushing the deal, including a few U.S. officials.

      The proposal suspends the commercial whaling moratorium for ten years. During this period the IWC will give quotas to the whaling countries to sell the meat commercially. These quotas are not based on the scientific procedures established by the IWC’s own scientists. Instead, the quotas will be based on political negotiations. Iceland under this proposal will get nearly triple the whales it kills now. Further, because the loopholes of objections/reservations/Article VIII whaling, will not be removed from the Convention itself, the proposal will not be legally binding.

      Further to David’s point, if any new countries wants to join they can simply take a reservation to the quotas and the restrictions in the proposal and issue themselves any quota they choose. This deal allows commercial whaling for ten years, and it will stimulate a market for whale meat. The proposal will also require non-whaling countries to subsidize the whaling industry. Instead of requiring those countries that will make a profit to pay for this regime, nations that are opposed to whaling will also have to pay for observers, tracking systems, reporting etc.

      Lastly, so long as Japan, Iceland and Norway hold reservations at CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to the great whale listings – they can legally trade whale products.

      No thinks that the status quo is good, but a deal to curtail whaling should lead in the right direction, not forfeit the hard-won gains embodied in the commercial moratorium itself. The United States in particular needs to employ a broader range of diplomatic tools and engagement, like the Australians, who have invested money in a massive joint research partnership, taken the Japanese on in bilateral negotiations, and most recently sued in the International Court of Justice. In comparison, the US effort over the last four years or so looks like amateur hour, and the Obama adminstration deserves the scrutiny and criticism it is receiving.

      In a few weeks’ time, the entire matter will be thrashed out at the meeting in Morocco and the merits and deficiencies of the current proposal or a modified form will become more clear. Let’s see how it looks at the end of the month.

      • David

        Well then I guess they completely rewrote the proposal sometime after they released it.

        As to the HSUS letter, it says ‘the nations of the world’ which is wrong. The fact is that less than 20% of the nations were even in the IWC and less than 13% approved the moratorium. It also said it would ‘let the whalers of the leash’. the whalers currently set their own quotas and have no monitoring, doesn’t sound like they are currently on a leash. So the letter is wrong there.

        The proposal didn’t have hard numbers for Iceland and even the numbers for Japan were just a starting point and still open to negotiations by the full IWC versus the Working Group.

        The proposal also only applied to Iceland, Norway and Japan, so other countries could not start commercial whaling.

        The proposal suspended Article VIII for the ten years, so yes technically other countries could object to the proposal and then issue their own Article VIII research permit. But they can do that right now. There is currently nothing that prevents any IWC member from research whaling.

        The proposal also banned trade in whale meat. So although Iceland, Norway and Japan have reservations to certain species under CITES, if the proposal passes they would have to object or they would be bound to not trade whale meat. Again this is something they can currently legally do.

        The cost of monitoring in the proposal was shared by all IWC members. Again final numbers where not given and the split of who pays what is still up for negotiations.

        I don’t see how the proposal from the Working Group could have been changed since the IWC meeting hasn’t started yet, but if it has please give a link to the new version. I was basing all my comments on the version that was released April 22nd.

        And as I tried to convey in my original post. There are things in the proposal that each sides dislikes, that is what compromise means, both sides give up something to get something. Australia seems to think compromise means do it Australia’s way or else, and the SSCS has made it clear they won’t compromise on whaling in the Southern Ocean, of course they don’t seem to do more than talk about the rest of the whaling that takes place.

  • Adri

    This would not be a first step to stopping whaling. In fact, now that a suspension of the moritorium has been proposed, South Korea is expressing interest in resuming whaling. There is no reason to believe that low quotas would last or be reduced, considering that Japan is actively recruiting (bribing) small developing nations in Africa and the Caribbean to join and vote with Japan on the IWC. This just sends the message that we are ok with “sustainable” commercial whaling, including killing humpbacks (which are included in the proposed quotas).

    • David

      The proposal specifically says that no new countries would be allowed to start whaling, so South Korea can express whatever they want, the proposal would not allow them to start whaling.

      The quotas are directly written into the proposal. So Japan would need a 3/4 majority to make any changes and if they were to get a 3/4 majority they could change anything they wanted anyways.

      And I can understand that some people may feel it sends a message that limited commercial whaling is OK. I see that as a very legitimate reason to oppose the proposal, but that reason isn’t anywhere in the HSUS/Brosnan letter. It talks about lifting the moratorium and expanding whaling. In other words it is lying to stir up emotions in an attempt to manipulate people. They seem to be saying the only way we can get people to back our side of the argument is with lies and cheap theatrics; and we believe people are too stupid to see through the smoke and mirrors to the truth. Sounds like a real ethical group.

  • Cho cho ma

    “Now, [the Madrid Environmental] protocol did a couple of important things. One thing it did is that it bans mining in Antarctica. That was the great achievement of the protocol. But the other thing it does is it sets up very specific, detailed, demanding rules in terms of all governments having to comply with when they have any kind of expedition or activity in Antarctica. And at the moment, Japan is not complying with those rules, particularly because Japan is not telling the international community what steps it is taking to insure that its whaling operations do not cause damage to the Antarctic environment”

    This is what legal expert DR. Timothy Stephens said.

    • David

      Can you try and stay on topic.

      • Cho cho ma

        Sorry did I make u angry? Still talking about whales, good enough for me.

      • David

        No I don’t let pre-teens anger me. Their brains aren’t fully developed so they often times can’t help themselves.

        But try and understand that this article is about the letter HSUS and the proposal before the IWC. I know the SSCS supporters like to derail discussions but their are plenty of articles specifically about whaling where you comment, although incorrect, would be on topic.

        The problem with your claim is that the Madrid Protocol applies to the Antarctic Treaty Area which is defined as; “Antarctic Treaty area” means the area to which the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty apply in accordance with Article VI of that Treaty.

        Article VI of the ATS says; “The provisions of the present treaty shall apply to the area south of 60 degrees South Latitude, including all ice shelves, but nothing in the present treaty shall prejudice or in any way affect the rights, or the exercise of the rights, of any State under international law with regard to the high seas within that area.”

        The whaling fleet is on the high seas.

      • Cho cho ma

        Last I checked david you didnt have the title of DR. in front of your name, and you are not considered a legal expert.

      • David

        Well cho since you have no idea who I am I guess your checking consisted of you sticking your head up your ass and taking a look around. So you don’t know if I have DR before my name or if I am a legal expert. In other words you’re attempting to build a straw man but you can’t even do that properly.

        The treaties are written in plain language which I copied to my post. It doesn’t take a legal expert to understand statements like “…but nothing in the present treaty shall prejudice or in any way affect the rights, or the exercise of the rights, of any State under international law with regard to the high seas within that area.”

        It plainly says the ATS doesn’t apply to the high seas. Most 12 year olds can understand that.

  • Whoever…

    “For the first time in 25 years, on June 21, the International Whaling Commission will meet to decide whether to effectively lift the prohibition on commercial whaling. If this happens, it will give Japan, Iceland and Norway free will to hunt whales.”

    I say bomb the shit out of them and problem solved!!

    The value of humans and non-humans are equally important to me, therefore if a bunch of assholes persist on lifting the ban on whaling then I say kill them the same way as they want to kill the whales…
    There is no need to hunt whales anymore and thus if I had to chose between letting whales or whalers live, I would go for saving the whales!

    • David

      have you even scanned the proposal? Do you know what it really says, not what HSUS and SSCS say it says?

  • Whoever…

    *is* equally important to me
    *insist* on lifting the ban

    Too late, too tired :)

  • Mick

    “…how could anyone believe it’s safe to let whalers off their leash?”

    So he says. Yet he fails to mention that the other whaling countries, America, Russia and Greenland, can and will continue to hunt whales completely unopposed by him, SS, Greenpeace or the HSUS.

  • Cho cho ma

    You obviously dont know who I am David, because I’m not a 12 year old. I also dout a person who would write “sticking your head up your ass” would have a ph.D. in anything. Additionally who do you think I’m going to believe DR. Timothy Stephens, legal expert, or David, ignorant pretend ph.D. holder and self proclaimed legal expert? Choice #1 I think

    • David

      I never said I know who you were Che, you are the one who said they knew who I am. Oh wait I mean you are the one who lied about knowing who I am. And you obviously don’t know many PhDs, some of them I work with could, as the saying goes, ‘make a sailor blush’.

      So you contend only PhDs and lawyers can understand the law? It is amazing how stupid and naive some people can be. Laws are written so an average person can understand them so they can know what they can legally do and when they have broken the law.

      As I will repeat for the second time, the ATS doesn’t apply: “…but nothing in the present treaty shall prejudice or in any way affect the rights, or the exercise of the rights, of any State under international law with regard to the high seas within that area.” (high seas; The open waters of an ocean or a sea beyond the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a country.)

  • Cho cho ma

    Alright Dr. David, you say you know nothing about me, correct? Yet you frequently say things in a way that makes it appear you do know about me. You say I’m 12 years old, I’m not, you say I dont know any PhDs but I do. I never said who you are, rather who you are not. If all people could interpret laws in the same way, and really undersand the meanings of them there would be no need for legal experts of advisors. Like I said before given the choice I’m going to believe the legal expert not Dr. David who cant admit when he is ever wrong.

  • David

    Are you related to Paul Watson? Because you lie as much as he does.

    I never said you were 12 years old, I implied you acted like a 12 year old.

    I never said you don’t know any PhDs, I said you don’t know many PhDs.

    So you lie, use as hominem and straw man arguments, or should I say try and use ad hominem and straw man arguments. You make unsupported statements while I cite to the actual documents and their plain language.

  • Cho cho ma

    And I cite to the legal expert, not Dr. David.

    • David

      No you didn’t. When you have to write a real report or research paper you will learn how to cite something.

      Listing the name of a person who has probably been associated with multiple papers is not citing a source.

      Don’t worry some day you will be able to participate in adult conversations.

  • Cho cho ma
    • David

      I have read it before. It is not a valid citation. It not a paper or report and hasn’t been published. Like I said, Some day when you have to write a real report or research paper you will know how to cite something.

      Here is a link where real published papers are cited.

      http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPA91paper.htm

  • Cho cho ma
    • David

      First neither of these have to do with the Madrid Protocol. Second both groups were set up and paid by anti-whaling groups, any wonder what their results were. And finally again, news articles aren’t valid citations.

      Now if I accepted your citation to Dr Stephens, it still wouldn’t stop whaling. Japan and Australia have differing interpretations of the protocol, so they take it to court. If the court agrees with Australia then Japan files an environmental impact statement and continues whaling.

      • Cho cho ma

        But Dr. David how can they have different interpretations when you said that the laws are all clear so that the average person can understand it?

      • David

        Because Australia believes they have a valid claim to an EEZ around parts of Antarctica. If this claim were upheld then some of the areas where the Japanese whale would not be high seas. But Australia specifically did not include their EEZ claim in the court case, so I don’t see how they can claim it isn’t high seas and thus outside of the ATS.

        And the ATS and Madrid Protocol, which is just part of the ATS, aren’t laws.

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    BIG NEWS.

    Pete Bethune has been expelled from Sea Shepherd.

    It turns out that he was indeed carrying bows and arrows on board the trimaran, just like the ICR stated. Again, Paul Watson has been caught lying.

    It’s really coming undone for these thugs!

    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      This is amazing. Just as Kimitake predicted, Sea Shepherd is going to sell Bethune down the river. Fancy dumping on him like this as he’s awaiting sentencing! These Sea Shepherd scum bags really have some nerve. It will be fascinating to see how their TV show will show him as a great Sea Shepherd hero yet make no mention of the fact that they dumped on him in his moment of greatest need.

      Like I keep saying, crime doesn’t pay. In the end, it’s going to come unstuck.

      Poor Pete. What a fool.

      • georgina0912

        Kimitake speaks in third person, just like a Seinfeld character.

  • Cho cho ma

    Kimitake, you the arrows were to be used against dead whales to spoil their meat. Paul Watson was not aware that he actually had the bow and arrows at the time of the campaign. I would also like to point out that if Pete Bethune was not expelled he would likely have to leave the organization anyway. In the show Whale Wars Sea Shepherd has no influence on how the show is made. It is a product of the Lizard Trading Company not Sea Shepherd.

  • Cho cho ma

    First hand account of whaling corruption by Japan:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/08/2921092.htm?section=justin

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  • satelite

    Great to see high profile celebs doing their bit to save these majestic creatures.

    The way I see it is, the destruction of these creatures is blood lust, or just pure evil.