Whaling commission avoids controversial decisions
Wrapping up its annual meeting this week, the International Whaling Commission decided to defer decision-making on various controversial issues. The IWC took only one vote at the meeting, deciding to disallow Greenland’s request to take a higher quota of humpback whales. It also agreed to research the impact of climate change on cetaceans. But with the commission polarized by fierce disagreement between pro- and anti-whaling countries, no decisions were made on whether to end a 22-year-old ban on commercial whaling, whether to continue letting Japan kill whales for alleged scientific purposes, whether to create a whale sanctuary in the south Atlantic, or whether to issue permits for coastal whaling. A 24-nation committee of the 81-member commission will try to come up with compromises on contentious issues, and will bring a report to next year’s conference.