21 June 2010
Shortly after the 62nd meeting of the IWC kicked off in Morocco it was swiftly closed to all but Government delegates.
The now secret meeting is discussing the highly controversial proposal to resume commercial whaling but excludes NGOs and the media.
This unusual move comes after serious accusations were raised in the media about corruption at the highest levels of the Commission and vote-buying by Japan, a country that has a history of dirty tricks campaigning.
“Whales aren't bargaining chips, whose lives can be traded in secret. Any negotiations should be done openly and be subject to media, public and NGO scrutiny. How do countries of the IWC expect us to trust them, when all we hear about is scandal, corruption and lies," says Kimberly Muncaster, Project Jonah CEO.
"It's totally unacceptable that the fate of these animals now rests on decisions made behind closed doors", she continues. "This is not a good start to meetings of this year's IWC."
The deal currently on the table would reward the whalers for years of intransigence with quotas, some of which are much higher than their recent takes.
Countries like Australia, the Latin American countries and large parts of the EU want to see an IWC that takes control of the existing renegade whaling and brings an end to whaling. Project Jonah supports this stance.
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