It seems that two sides of the argument are in town today. That's Brussels, when I say town by the way. Over in one part the Norwegians were over to talk fisheries with the EU Parliament, where I understand that they were questioned on whaling and subsidies by the press. Good for the Belgian press I say.
Whilst in another part of town, WDCS was meeting with the EU Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Janez Potočnik, who kindly took receipt of a 200,000 postcard petition against commercial whaling collected by WDCS, in cooperation with our pan-European educational initiative partners, Merlin Entertainments (SEA LIFE) Limited.
This petition consists of names of European citizens from all over the European Union and is a reflection of their continued and absolute opposition to commercial whaling. It also reflects their expectations that their representatives in their national Governments and the European Union should be seeking to ensure that no quotas are agreed for any commercial whaling, in any form, at the current, or any future, annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
WDCS explained to Mr. Potočnik that people of Europe believe that the current IWC Chairman’s Proposal should be rejected and that the members of the EU should take a united stand to uphold EU law requiring the strict protection of whales. It seems that he already knew as whilst we delivered 200,000 cards, he had been receiving them directly for months from all over Europe.
We reminded him that the Commission on behalf of the EU in its press release (IP/08/200) dated Brussels, 08 February 2008 had promised the people of Europe that,
‘If whaling is only banned in EU waters but not everywhere else in the world then such a ban can have only a limited effect on the well-being of whale species. This is why the international ban on commercial whaling must stay and why all EU Member States party to the IWC must oppose any move seeking to lift it. We need to move towards more international protection of whales rather than less.' .
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
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