Earth Island Institute

ECO: The environmental voice at the IWC

ECO is published by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Madeira, Portugal, on behalf of environmental and animal welfare organizations around the globe.

For further information, please contact: Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project.

A Plea for Justice

Volume LXI · No. 4 · Madeira, Portugal · Thursday June 25, 2009
Acrobat .pdf of issue

The IWC has just spent much time, again, discussing the interaction between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (“the organization that they will not name”) and the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic this last season.

US, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand made reasonable statements about competence, emphasizing – correctly – that this is properly a matter for the International Maritime Organization, not the IWC.

What concerns me is the injustice of such discussions in which only one side of the controversy is heard – that of the Government of Japan. If the IWC Commissioners want to act as Judges and turn Plenary sessions into a rump court then the very least they could do is hear Sea Shepherd’s version of events; Paul Watson is in Funchal; why not invite him in? The Japanese video is not definitive. I, with millions of others, have seen the Sea Shepherd’s helicopter footage, showing a very different story.

I don’t know who is right or wrong, but the IWC’s judgements of one side of a serious legal controversy is lamentable.

– Dr. Sidney Holt