Demonstrators from conservation groups greeted delegates to the 25th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which opened in London today (June 25th).
Demonstrators from conservation groups greeted delegates to the 25th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which opened in London today (June 25th). The protestors, belonging to groups with such evocative names as 'Friends of the Earth,' and 'Operation Jonah' are demanding a ten-year ban on all commercial whaling to save some species from possible extinction.
Delegations from the 14 member nations are attending the meeting which is being held at Riverwalk House on the banks of the Thames. It continues for a week, during which time the delegates will be asked to vote on a ten-year ban.
Japan and Russia are now the only two countries still hunting whales on a large scale. Each of their delegations was presented with a model whale by the demonstrators, although the Japanese delegate at first refused to accept the model because of an objection to the inscription in Japanese "Have mercy on the Whale". Later a member of the Japanese delegation accepted the gift.
The demonstration coincided with a half page advertisement in The Times - a leading British newspaper - calling for a ten year ban on whaling. It was signed by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and many prominent scientists, conservationists and academics. They argue that there are acceptable substitutes for all whale products and particularly object to the methods used to kill whales which they describe as barbaric.
SYNOPSIS: Demonstrators from conservation groups turned out at the opening of the 25th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in London, attended by delegation from the 14 member nations. The conservationists are urging a ten-year ban on commercial whaling, which will be considered by the Commission.
The Japanese, who with the Soviet Union are now the only major whaling nations, at first refused to accept a model of the whale, but later a delegate accepted the gift.
The Soviet delegate accepted his model graciously. Japan and the Soviet Union's decision on the whaling ban will be crucial to the preservation of the whale. Experts say several species are threatened with extinction if commercial whaling continues.
Conservationists argue that there are acceptable substitutes for all whale products - margarine, petfood, cosmetics and transmission oil. And they describe the methods of killing whales as barbaric. Harpoons are used which explode inside the whale Prolonging its death by up to two hours.