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EU: MEPs set to back international whaling banRemoving the "cloak" of scientific methods to achieve commercial results
MEPs are calling for tough new measures to be taken against whaling. In a market where 1000 whales are killed each year for commercial purposes, British Liberal Elspeth Attwooll is proposing stricter penalties to deter pro-whaling countries.
The reasons for the dwindling whale figures are varied and many. One of the key contributing factors is commercial whaling. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission banned all commercial whaling.
However, not all countries signed up and many still flaunt the ban by embarking on "scientific whaling projects", which skirts the ban by killing the whales for study. There is some evidence that carcasses from scientific whaling manage to find their way onto the consumer market.
Whales are also falling victim to changing environmental conditions. Climate change, pollution, ship strikes, fish by-catch and noise pollution have all been instrumental in whale deaths.
Scientific loophole should be closed
Elspeth Attwooll in her own initiative report says the IWC ban on whaling should continue, but calls for an end to the use of lethal scientific whaling methods.
19 Feb 2009, p.m.
Result of the vote 'Community action in relation to whaling' (A6-0025/2009)
Report: Elspeth Attwooll (ALDE, UK)
Report adopted by 626 votes in favour to 26 against with 19 abstentions
1/4 of whale species are currently endangered
9 species are in danger of extinction
Norway, Iceland and Japan all have commercial whaling industries
The blue whale is the biggest mammal: averaging 25 meters long, 100 tonnes