Latin American bloc opposes lifting ban on commercial whaling

Just weeks before the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), a group of the main Latin American countries rejects the proposal by the IWC to overturn the ban on commercial whaling.

On 20 May the representatives of the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay  and representatives of the Governments of Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela, the so-called group of Buenos Aires (GBA), reached consensus on a joint position on the future of the IWC and thus whaling.

They clearly rejected the proposal by the chair of the IWC – a proposal that de facto would be the end of the 24-year ban on commercial whaling.

In a statement the GBA declared their commitment to maintaining the moratorium on commercial hunting of whales, the promotion of non-lethal use, and having respect for the integrity of whale sanctuaries recognised by the IWC.

“We are very pleased that the GBA has reached this position. It sends a very strong signal to all the IWC member states that commercial whaling should be permanently consigned to the history books,” WSPA campaigner Joanna Toole said.  

Lobbying paid off

Prior to the GBA meeting, WSPA tirelessly and successfully lobbied the GBA member countries to reject the IWC proposal.

“The GBA is raising the voice of Latin America with courage, and being strongly and clearly in favour of the world’s whales. It is a moment of celebration, but also a moment to continue working on behalf of these beautiful animals, which deserve to swim free in the seas. We applaud the decision,” said Marcela Vargas on behalf of WSPA Latin America.

Saving the whaling ban

WSPA will continue working hard to lobby governments before June to derail this dangerous deal, and instead encourage a healthy focus on the IWC’s future as a body to manage whale conservation and whale watching.

Meanwhile Norway, alongside Japan and Iceland, are pushing hard for the moratorium to be lifted.

Please help us show the Norwegian government that whaling is no good for whales or Norway’s international reputation – sign our petition now  

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