Whaling nations defeat proposed Atlantic sanctuary
PANAMA: Japan and its allies shot down a Latin American-led proposal
Monday to create a sanctuary for whales in the southern Atlantic Ocean,
reigniting international tensions over Tokyo’s whaling. The
International Whaling Commission, which has long been torn by disputes,
fell into familiar divisions just hours after officials opened the main
session of their week-long annual meeting in Panama City.
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Uruguay put forward a proposal to
declare the southern Atlantic a no-kill zone for whales, a largely
symbolic measure as whaling ended there long ago.
Thirty-eight countries voted in favor of the measure and 21 voted
against, with two abstentions. Under commission rules, proposals need to
enjoy a “consensus” of 75 percent support for approval.
Jose Truda Palazzo, who spearheaded the proposal for the Atlantic
sanctuary when he was Brazil’s representative to the International
Whaling Commission, blamed nations that receive Japanese aid for
scuttling the proposal.
“Japan doesn’t want to give an inch on anything that may compromise
their ability to roam the world doing whaling as they see fit,” said
Truda Palazzo, who is now at Brazil’s non-governmental Cetacean