June 17, 2009

Greenland Seeks To Hunt Humpbacks

Environmentalists made their opinions known at a key meeting on Tuesday involving plans to resume the hunting of humpback whales, which went under a moratorium protection over 40 years ago.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said Greenland intends to ask a summit on Monday to grant it permission to hunt 50 humpbacks over five years.

"Denmark is lobbying intensely, with the support of Sweden, to build a European consensus in favor of Greenland's proposal," WDCS spokesman Nicolas Entrup said in a statement issued in Lisbon.
"The WDCS urges member states and the Czech presidency (of the European Union) not to put at risk the EU's reputation for commitment to the conservation of the world's whales."

Before a moratorium was introduced in 1966, the humpback was a major target for hunters and its population fell drastically.

The WDCS said that Greenland will make its request at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which starts Monday on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

There are 85 countries in the IWC, which have been trying to come to a new compromise on whale hunting and conservation for some years now.

The only two countries in the world that authorize commercial whaling are Iceland and Norway.

Japan officially hunts whales for scientific purposes, and the whale meat is sold for consumption.


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