The IWC meeting in Agadir has ended in a bittersweet success. The proposed end to the moratorium on killing whales was defeated. But only for this year. That several small nations were disqualified from the vote for various reasons (ranging from unpaid dues to being bought off by Japan for the price of a hooker,) had a lot to do with our success in preserving the whaling ban. But the battle isn’t even close to over.
Truth is, lifting the ban was intended to eventually put an end to all whaling — supposedly within a decade. But the best of intentions would not have held water. Japan will not stop when the agreement says to. They would just have dropped out of the IWC when the rules no longer suited them. In many ways, they’ve been doing precisely as they please all along, disregarding the intent of the Moratorium, sidestepping it with that thinly veiled Research guise. Next year, they can come back with their ducks in a row, and the IWC vote may go differently, giving them a license to kill a thousand minke whales a year, for so long as they remain in the IWC. This would put Paul Watson and the rest of the Sea Shepherd crew at a major disadvantage, because then they couldn’t claim to be enforcing the valid intent of the IWC agreement. If the lift of the moratorium passes, then Sea Shepherd becomes a “terrorist” organization. No matter how ridiculous the killing itself may be, Watson and company would be at rist of being arrested for interfering with a lawful hunt. [Read more...]