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Japan and its commercial whaling allies need to stop voting against the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary (SAWS) and start protecting whales! Sign the petition asking the International Whaling Commission delegates to leave the whales alone and pass the resolution. These amazing marine mammals are too precious to lose!
Since 1998, Brazil, Argentina, Gabon, Urguay and South Africa have been working to create the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary (SAWS) , but have been blocked every time by a small group of pro-commercial whaling nations.
The movement to create the SAWS has been voted down by countries like Japan, Iceland, Norway, and others . It will be up for an international vote again in 2018, needing a three-fourths majority to pass, and this time the vote needs to have a different outcome.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) established a global ban on commercial whaling in 1985 , but a loophole in the moratorium allows countries like Japan to continue whaling under the pretense of "scientific research," though the whale meat continues to source the whale meat markets in Japan and other countries.
"Scientists estimate that some 300,000 whales and dolphins die annually after being accidentally caught in fishing gear," Reuters reports . Establishing the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would go to great lengths to reducing these deaths, along with closing the loophole for "scientific whaling" that currently allows countries to kill thousands of whales every year.
Several whale species live and migrate through the South Atlantic, including humpback, sperm, fin, orca, minke, sei, right and blue whales . The precious, intelligent marine mammals are endangered or vulnerable and need to be protected so their populations can become sustainable once more.
International Whaling Commission:
Since the introduction of the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1985, members of the International Whaling Commission have killed thousands of whales under Special Permit for scientific research, while tens of thousands more have been killed in objection to the global ban.
Japan, Iceland and Norway have been the leading countries that continue whaling, with Japan by far killing the most whales through what is no more than a loophole in the moratorium using the pretense of "scientific research" as a guise to fuel the market for whale meat.
Brazil, Argentina, Gabon, Urguay and South Africa have been trying to pass the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary since 1998, seeking to protect the precious marine mammals in their own waters, but have been voted down by the small group of pro-commercial whaling countries and their allies each time it has come before the IWC for a vote.
The IWC convenes again in 2018, and this time the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary must pass. Nothing can be gained if these species of whales are allowed to go extinct through careless disregard, greed or apathy. The endangered populations must be given time and space to replenish and become sustainable.
The South Atlantic countries urging for the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary must not be overruled by the small group of pro-whaling objectors from other parts of the world again. Added to that, the suspect practices of whaling under Special Permit must come to an end.
A group of more than 20 scientists wrote an open letter in 2002 stating that, "Japan's whale research program fails to meet minimum standards for credible science." In addition to pointing out that the data collected through the whaling program could also be acquired through non-lethal methods, the letter stated that Japan's so-called scientific whaling "is not designed to answer scientific questions relevant to the management of whales" and that "Japan has refused to make the information it collects available for independent review."
Thousands of whales and dolphins are also killed in these waters every year by fishing and shipping traffic, with pollution, collisions, entanglements and other unnecessary causes leading to their deaths. In such a precious region of habitation and migration to so many species of whales, a sanctuary must be created and enforced so that non-lethal research can be conducted and data collected to help the world's whale populations become sustainable once more.
It is time for this decades-old stalemate to end. The majority of nations in the IWC already support the creation of the SAWS, and in 2018 the commission must give the necessary three-fourths majority vote to establish the sanctuary.
I implore all members of the International Whaling Commission to vote in favor of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. Whales and other marine mammals, many of which are endangered or vulnerable to begin with, must be protected from further harm.