Greenland Issues Bizarre Response To WDCS Undercover Investigations
IWC Day Two:
The recent WDCS undercover investigations, revealing whale meat meant for the native people of Greenland is being sold to tourists visiting the country, seem to have upset the Greenlandic delegation on day two of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Panama.
As the various governments present gathered to discuss the issue of Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling, Greenland made some bizarre comments in response to WDCSís report, which exposed the real reasons behind Greenlandís request to kill more whales are commercially driven.
Countering clear evidence of their abuse of the ASW quota that they received last time, the Greenlandic delegation stated that the authorities of Greenland hadnít been contacted for this research by WDCS; that selling whale meat is legal in Greenland (but to whom WDCS asks?); and that they donít control who is able to eat whale meat - and that they wonít seek to control it in the future as Ďthey have no racial politicsí!
The vote on whether Greenland would be allowed to take more whales next year was deferred to a later point in proceedings in Panama, but the US, Russian Federation and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SGV) quotas were discussed at length.
Talks centered on the fact that these three quotas were Ďbundled upí and presented together rather than assessed individually. The Alaskan and Russian ASW hunts aside, WDCS has many clear objections to SVGís requests for ASW quotas, such as:
- Itís not undertaken by aboriginal people
- Itís not supported by genuine cultural/ nutritional needs
- They donít fulfill the required levels of information needed regarding provision of samples, information and pictures
The countries making up the Latin American block put forward the idea of splitting this single proposal into three different country proposals, but this did not meet with success because the US opposed any changes.
With the meeting unable to reach consensus, the Chair called for a vote and sadly the proposal was approved (48 in favour, 10 against, 2 abstentions, 1 party did not participate), and quotas were granted for a six year period.
WDCS CEO, Chris Butler Stroud, has asked that the EU does the right thing when voting on Greenlandís aboriginal subsistence quotas finally takes place in Panama: "WDCS expects the EU Member States to uphold EU law and NOT permit a further blurring of the lines between ASW and commercial whaling. Greenland has thrown down the challenge that this IS commercial whaling, so the EU has only two choices, which is to either seek to amend the Greenlandic proposal to prevent sales to tourists, or to vote against the proposal. Nothing less is acceptable at this stage."
Countries voting against were: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gabon, Peru, Uruguay. India and Monaco abstained.