Bid for whale sanctuary fails

 作者:公孙镧脶     |      日期:2019-03-06 01:01:01
By Emma Young, London Proposals for a whale sanctuary to protect threatened stocks in the South Pacific have been rejected by delegates at the 53rd meeting International Whaling Commission in London. The sanctuary, which was also rejected at last year’s IWC meeting, was proposed by Australia and New Zealand with the backing of the majority of the Pacific Island nations. It would have covered about 20 million square kilometres and protected nine species of great whale in their winter breeding ground in the tropics. But leading pro-whaling nations, Norway and Japan, along with a block of Caribbean countries, voted against the sanctuary. Caribbean nations have been accused of receiving aid from Japan in return for backing its position on whaling. Antigua and Barbuda has openly admitted receiving aid in return for IWC votes. A majority of three-quarters of the delegates was required to create the sanctuary. Wilbur Dovey, New Zealand’s IWC assistant Commissioner told New Scientist: “We had expected a result like this. It’s difficult to win against such opposition. But the result of 20 for and 13 against is actually better than we had expected.” A Brazilian proposal for a smaller sanctuary in the South Atlantic was also defeated. Pio Manoa, a Greenpeace whale campaigner based in Fiji, said “Yet again Japan’s vote buying means that South Pacific nations have been denied their right to a whale sanctuary. It is scandalous that Japan can . . . undermine the will of a vast majority of people world-wide who want the whales protected.” Dovey says New Zealand is not yet sure whether it will propose the sanctuary for a third time. “We will have to think about next year, ” he says. “The next IWC meeting is in Japan and Japan may continue the sort of activities it has been doing up till now. Perhaps we might encourage Pacific nations to look at the possibility of declaring the waters inside their own economic zones as sanctuaries, which some have already done.” Japan argued that the existing international moratorium on commercial whale hunting is sufficient protection for the endangered blue whales and other species in the area. It also argued that a sanctuary that boosted whale numbers would mean fewer fish available to feed people. Two international whale sanctuaries already exist,