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Whaling Talks Collapse, Japan Receives Bulk Of Blame

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For those hoping this year’s whaling talks in Morocco might lead to greater conservation of the giant mammals, prepare to keep waiting.

Behind closed doors, delegates of the commission’s 88 member governments failed to reach an agreement on the proposed “Peace Plan”; a compromise that would have lifted a 24-year ban on commercial whaling and allowed Japan, Norway and Iceland to resume commercial hunting under tight quotas and international monitoring.

Not surprisingly, Japan was hit with much of the blame for causing discussions to grind to a halt. The main sticking point apparently was a sharp curtail in hunting in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. According to the NY Times, delegates said that Japan and antiwhaling nations could not reach agreement on the size of the catch and that Tokyo had balked at agreeing to eventually phase out the hunt altogether.

Personally, I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that last reaction.

Most encouraging perhaps, is that many anti-whaling nations refused to consider a deal that would end the moratorium.

“I am very pleased that this morning it’s now clear and confirmed that the commission won’t be … opening up the prospect of commercial whaling in the future,” said Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

So what does all this mean? Well, unfortunately, business as usual for Japan and Co. in hunting under banners of “scientific” BS. And a one year tabling of the discussion till everyone meets again to see if there’s wiggle room for a compromise. Just don’t hold your breath on the latter.

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