Okay, this is how it should be.
A country that has a group of people with a continuous nutritional and cultural need for taking whales should bring a needs statement to the IWC. This is reviewed and then if found to be correct, the Commission, on the advice of the Scientific Committee decides whether a species of whale can be hunted and allocates a quota. Unless you are Greenland.
This is how the system gets perverted -
If you are Greenland, you declare that you are an Inuit nation and that everybody in your country is going to be counted for the consumption of whale meat. You also, don't actually ask the IWC, you pass your demands on through Denmark and then threaten to leave if you don't get what you want.
Also you don't allow the IWC to think about numbers of whales with you request, you demand a 'tonnage' of whale meat and then point out that your ability to get the meat of the whales is limited by the experience of the hunters (sorry I thought these guys were experienced indigenous peoples? - ed) and whether they have a fishing boat, power boat, type of rifle etc. So you argue that the IWC has to use Greenland's figures for 'conversion' - that's how much meat can be taken off a whale - which seem much lower than any indigenous group. Strange that. But of course this leads to inflated numbers of whales being needed.
I was saying to colleagues today that the concept that you can bring a needs statement (or not) but make a claim and then say, ‘oh never mind - I quite like that one’ - makes this feel like this is more like clothes shopping when I know I need a 48 inch waste but have been buying 40 inch ‘for growth’, but in fact end up buying a 36 inch for the style and colour.
So what will happen today? We know that Greenland has said that this is about proving they can get what they want out of the IWC, so stand by for some 'whale-trading' just so Greenland can win this argument.
It seems whilst Greenland has been claiming a 40 inch waste for some time, but maybe today we shall see that its willing to agree to a 36inch waste because it likes the 'taste' of humpbacks both politically and in reality - well maybe the tourists in the hotels will too.