Greenpeace — Ban on Commercial Whaling Is Under Attack — Sunday Photo Magazine — 10/16/2016

Greenpeace

30 Years After Its Passage, the Ban on Commercial Whaling Is Under Attack

The International Whaling Commission has the chance to protect 10 million square miles of whale habitat next week. Or, it could lift a 30-year moratorium on needlessly cruel commercial whale hunting. Which would you rather see?

Humpback Whales in Gulf of Alaska

After the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in 2014 that the Antarctic whaling that Japan claimed is scientific was really not for scientific purposes, and ordered them to stop it, it seemed like the last sad chapter of the story of commercial whaling was coming to a close. And when a proposal by Latin American and African countries to make the entire South Atlantic into a whale sanctuary — one that would cover almost 10 million square miles of ocean — came within a few votes of passing at the last meeting, it seemed certain that it would get the three-fourths majority it needs to pass this time around.

That sanctuary would conserve whales, stimulate non-lethal research, and develop non-lethal economic use of whales — like whale watching — for the benefit of coastal communities in the region.

With the creation of a South Atlantic whale sanctuary looking increasingly likely, I went back to working on overfishing, other threats to the oceans, and marine reserves.

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