EU votes down Greenland whaling

Denmark on Thursday lost a bid to extend whaling by Greenland's indigenous people beyond this year, with EU nations sharing concerns that tourists were being served a glut of whale meat.

In a surprise at International Whaling Commission talks in Panama, all other European Union nations voted against fellow member Denmark after saying they failed to reach a compromise to reduce the proposed hunt of the marine mammals.

Delegates voiced concern over reports that whale meat is widely sold in Greenland's supermarkets, saying it showed an industry in disguise and not an indigenous hunt for subsistence as allowed under the global whaling ban.

Denmark had proposed to let indigenous people in Greenland hunt up to 1,326 whales between 2013 and 2018 -- including 10 humpbacks a year -- a slight increase from a previous deal set two years ago after protracted negotiations.

With the rejection, Greenland will not have the right to hunt whales after the end of the year. But representatives from Denmark and Greenland hinted that they were considering defying the Commission.

"We will go home and reflect on what should be done as regards the future," Denmark's commissioner, Ole Samsing, told the conference.

"It looks to me that some irresponsible countries have just gone outside their responsibilities. What a pity," he said.

Whaling critics accused Denmark of failing to negotiate in good faith. In one tense session in Panama, Samsing even insisted that Greenland had the right -- theoretically -- to kill whales with baseball bats if it so decided.

"For the past five years, we have seen an effort by Greenland to progressively ramp up its whale catch and insist that this commission be complicit," said New Zealand's commissioner, Gerard van Bohemen.

India's commissioner, Ashish Kumar Srivastava, said Denmark should have explained why it needed more whale meat. He said that India supported the right to subsistence whaling but that the long-term goal should be to phase it out.

Monaco's envoy Frederic Briand, a veteran conservationist, said that the portrayal of Greenland as icy and barren was incorrect. He said Greenland had plenty of farms and, like Canada, controversially kills seals.

Denmark and Greenland "could have approached their request in a more sensible way, not going directly to war," Briand said.

"This issue also of whale meat being available to tourists, increasingly in a large number, does not make their case particularly strong," he said.

Twenty-five nations supported the proposal, 34 voted against and three abstained. The United States broke with other anti-whaling nations to support the proposal, citing a scientific study that Greenland's proposed hunt was sustainable.

The United States also practices indigenous whaling. The Commission on Tuesday approved quotas for native peoples in the United States, Russia and the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Iceland -- the only nation other than Norway that openly conducts commercial whaling in defiance of the 1986 moratorium -- said the Commission had become "extremely dysfunctional" and criticized conservationists.

"I really don't know what we are aiming at. Is it for people to make the oceans some kind of museum?" said Iceland's commissioner, Johann Gudmundsson.

Japan kills hundreds of whales each year using a loophole that allows lethal research on the ocean giants, with the meat then going for consumption.

South Korea on Wednesday told the commission that it would follow suit with scientific whaling, triggering outrage by Australia and New Zealand which have campaigned for years against Japan's expeditions.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the United States was "concerned" by South Korea's announcement and planned to raise the issue with Seoul.

Chris Butler-Stroud, head of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, voiced hope that the Commission's vote on Greenland would give South Korea "pause for thought" about pursuing whaling.

South Korea has not specified how many whales it will kill and said that it is not obligated to seek approval for its "research." Whale meat is popular in the coastal Korean city of Ulsan.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

  • Quake rocks C. Visayas
    Quake rocks C. Visayas

    A magnitude-3.2 earthquake rocked parts of Central Visayas yesterday. State seismologists said the quake was an aftershock of a powerful tremor that hit the region in 2013. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake occurred at 7:54 a.m. Its epicenter was located 10 kilometers  southeast of Buenavista, Bohol. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013. …

  • Super howler nears Phl
    Super howler nears Phl

    A typhoon that has devastated islands in the Pacific is forecast to become a category 5 monster howler as it barrels toward the Philippines this week. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Maysak will be named Chedeng when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility tonight or tomorrow morning. In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said the forecast track of Maysak may still change depending on the movement of …

  • Philips Gold finally shines

    Philips Gold made 11 service aces on its way to beating Mane ‘N Tail, 25-19, 27-25, 25-16, for its first victory in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All-Filipino Coinference Monday night at The Arena in San Juan.Former College of St. Benilde standout Rossan Fajardo had six aces as part of her 10-point output as the Lady Slammers finally barged into the win column after losing their first two matches.Ex-National University star Myla Pablo led Philips Gold with 14 points highlighted by 12 kills, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options