Lets do some daydreaming.
You have to image those wobbly wavy lines that they use in TV and films as we enter my day dream.
So what would I be doing if I was the US IWC Commissioner and I wanted to deliver for my President and my indigenous peoples?
I would decide what was my bottom line and then work up from it? Or maybe I decide what is my bottom line and then work down to it.
Before we decide which way I want to negotiate, lets decide what my bottom line is.
So I propose my bottom line is that I need to secure quotas for my indigenous peoples, in this case the Inupiat peoples of Alaska, and be able to claim that the ‘US saved the IWC’.
I know my predecessors tried this in previous years but Japan and her allies threatened to zero my quota request unless the pro-conservation countries gave into Japan’s demands for commercial whaling. In some years this has been a close run thing and we the US have just got away with promising everything but.
This time I may be able to deliver for Japan, - and deliver for the US.
If I can get Japan to accept a coastal quota then maybe I can get them out of Antarctica, and even if I can’t achieve the latter maybe I can get them to reduce their whaling, for a few years at least. That’s a success is it not?
But what about Norway and Iceland? Well what about them?
Its obvious they will never agree a deal, well Iceland will never agree at least.
Norway may be willing to suffer some internal angst with its whalers if it get a lower quota, but for goodness sake, it’s been unable to take all the whales it self allocates in the last ten years anyway.
And all it really wants is to get a stamp of legitimacy for its whaling, get the conservation countries off its back and give it the space to think about new markets for new whale products. Ten years of attention off its whaling may be just the ticket with Norway able to come out of the period with higher quotas and a profitable industry for once. Sorry, I meant to say sustainable industry (even if I actually mean economically sustainable)
Iceland may be a lost cause. They have already rejected everything we have offered, so lets forget about them. We need to deal with them, but maybe I have an idea!
When we started this process, - yes, we the US started this – didn’t you know? – we wanted the Scandinavians ‘inside the tent‘ and we were looking for a consensus position at the IWC. Well that’s out the window now, and we need some different tactics.
Why don’t we go for a Schedule Amendment and not worry how Norway and Iceland vote? Okay its not consensus, but it gets us out of a pickle.
We move the Schedule Amendment and allocate quotas for Iceland, Japan and Norway. Japan accepts (and so does half the IWC by default ☺), but Norway and Iceland vote against. What will we give Iceland and Norway you say?
Oh I don't know, let's give Iceland less than 60 fin and 60 minke as we already offered that and they refused, so we know that if we offer less it’s guaranteed that they will reject the deal, and maybe that’s what we want deep down.
We give Norway something around what they are hunting now, maybe a little less to show we ‘are driving the numbers down’.
We get to say that we sought to bring all whaling under control of the IWC and even offered ‘reasonable quotas’, but it was those damn ‘unreasonable Scandinavians that rejected it’.
Japan agrees and politely also agrees not to block the Inupiat quota.
So here we are. We push through a vote and get our ASW quota; Japan behaves and we can claim a victory of saving the IWC!
Norway may play ball, and if they do it’s a bonus, but if they don’t and join Iceland in objecting then, well that’s okay too. They get to do what they want and play the villains, and yet we get to claim to be the heroes of the hour who at least tried to get them to comply with the IWC.
That’s the next ten years of the IWC sorted and we can all go home happy.
What’s that you say, there are huge gaping holes in this strategy? That it does nothing to deal with South Korea and others who might want to enter whaling and does absolutely nothing to address trade in whale products, and what about enforcement and what about? I never said it was perfect, I just said it delivered for the US and Japan, oh and of course the whales ☺ (well maybe not the latter, but..)
Those are just small things and we’ll deal with them, - well at some point down the line we may.
So stop criticizing! Remember, we are the heroes, - don’t try and spoil our moment of glory.
wavy lines.....wavy lines.... Remember this is just a daydream and of course will bear no reality to reality
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