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Bribery may thwart international whale sanctuary

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Today Greenpeace USA began an email fundraising drive to counter Japanese bribery within the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Specifically, they accuse Japan of bribing small countries to vote against the interests of the whales and against the broader environmental benefits of whale protection.

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The Japanese government is bribing small countries like the Solomon Islands and Antigua and Barbuda to vote against the proposal. -- Phil Kline, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner

C. George. Muller, ( author of Echo’s in Blue, also reports bribery:

  • The IWC is the organization responsible for regulating whaling. Formed in 1946 to manage sustainable hunting of whales, it is responsible for conservation of whales. The system is imperfect.
  • In 1982 the IWC voted to introduce a Moratorium on Commercial Whaling, to take effect in 1986, however Japan never stopped killing whales (see ‘Scientific whaling’).
  • More than 25,000 whales have been killed since the “moratorium” was declared.
  • IWC decisions are based on a vote, and Japan “encourages” small third world countries to join the IWC and vote on their side. Japan is alleged to have handed out more than $400 million in bribes so far.

International Whaling Commission meeting

The International Whaling Commission's 64th Annual Meeting will take place in in Panama City, Panama 2012. The full set of Commission sub-groups will meet from 25-28 June, and the Commission plenary will take place 2-6 July. The first item on the agenda is reported to be a proposal to create a permanent whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic.

Seeking sponsorship

Greenpeace USA is seeking sponsorship to support their alliance with other Latin American conservation organizations and the Panamanian government to place photo exhibitions highlighting the substantial economic benefits of protecting these creatures in front of the delegations voting with Japan. They claim to have secured the best locations for these exhibitions to assure messages will be seen by the delegates.


Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins...I, for one, would follow her anywhere."—Tom Bissell author of The Father of All Things

"Jenkins' polished literary style makes it, sentence by sentence, a joy to read." - Phillip Lopate, author of Waterfront



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