It is Sunday, the day before the annual meeting of the IWC and delegates are gathering in Madeira a mountainous island far out in the
So what can we expect at this meeting?
Arguably there are two big topics of concern:
The future of the IWC (featuring
Greenland’s never-ending attempt to expand its hunt: and in this case its desire to add to its minke, fin and bowhead hunts one for humpback whales.
Both of these issues are complex and if we did not know better we might say deliberately so. But we will try here to give you the basic bones of both:
1. The Small Type Coastal Whaling Deal.
Many claim that the IWC stands at a cross-roads and for the last year there have been major diplomatic attempts to make a deal between the pro- and anti-whaling factions which have been so closely balanced at the Commission in recent years. The potential deal features some 33 different issues which are contested but at its heart lays an attempt to persuade
We would not be surprised if other nations did not start to do likewise and those that are whaling may try to cause further confusion by describing their activities as STCW.
2. Greenlandic Whaling.
The Greenlandic whaling claim is perhaps more straight forward (or perhaps not). The IWC has a category of whaling known as Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling. Some understand this as being put in place for certain coastal communities that had a long-standing ongoing nutritional (and cultural) need for whale meat. In other words they have a subsistence need for whale meat and their culture continues to be linked to eating whales. Last year Greenland, which has such communities, and has long been recognized as an aboriginal whaling nation attempted to expand its whaling activities (which hitherto were focused on minke and fin whales (and more recently bowhead whales) to include ten humpback whales). This was strongly fought by WDCS and others, mainly on the grounds that there was an extensive commercial whale meat trade across
Welcome to Madeira
It is difficult to know where to start in describing Madeira and probably many readers and especially those in the
Here are some possible descriptions:
- A verdant and precipitous island archipelago set in an azure blue sea;
- A sub-tropical part of God’s big waiting room (reflecting the average age of the tourists);
- One vast hot-house covered with an amazing variety of flowering plants being enjoyed by generations of more discerning tourists;
- An island steeped in history and gradient