Norway is Shocked.
And so the NGOs finally come to speak in the Great Hall.
The speakers start with WWF. Its African spokesman makes a spirited contribution. He names no names but he is sharply critical of what goes on here. Now NOAH comes to the microphone (this is the main Norwegian animal welfare group). She speak
s clearly and firmly of her concern about Norway being known as a whaling nation, and would prefer they were known for their good animal welfare standards. She then explains how bad the statistics are from whaling and that 50% of the UK public are concerned about this. Norway is represented here by a small and declining industry here, she says. A ‘perceived stamp of approval for commercial whaling’ would aid the industry and leave it open to develop new products.
Headlines, she tells us, in Norway on Monday stated that the ‘IWC may open for commercial whaling’. She concludes that whaling is a cruel outdated and unnecessary activity. ‘Thank you’.
NGO speaker Siri Martinsen of NOAH
The Species Management Specialists spokesman contributes something on the sustainable use of animals and a lack, he claims, of scientific information to the contrary. He doesn’t like conservation management programmes very much and continues in a similar theme for some time. [The scribe fades out.]
A lady representing the NGOs in Latin American and the Caribbean come next. She explains all the hard work going on in these regions into whale watching activities. A wider Caribbean whale sanctuary is being developed. With respect to vote buying, this discredits the region, she says, and a thorough investigation should be made. If it can be established that such accusations have merit, then the IWC needs to take actions.
Another pro-use group follows. ‘So, where to from Agadir…?’ he asks. [Home soon many of us hope.] Various concepts follow and the scribe drifts away … cast a shadow/undermined/agreed by scientific committee/respectful dialogue…
The Cousteau Foundation comes next and reminds us of Jacques its founder. He was a great supporter of the moratorium. She goes on to highlight much of the good conservation work done by the IWC – ship strikes, whale watching, small potatoes and so forth but meetings about The Future have eaten up the time of the Commission, and its money and the work time of the Scientific Committee.
The Cousteau Society says we should make a plan and a budget for these animals. Greenpeace Japan comes next. He speaks in Japanese ‘as a citizen of Japan’. He speaks of the CBD meeting coming up in Japan but also notes Japans role at CITES in the blue fin tuna issue [a failed proposal to protect them]. There are many wrong doings – and he boldly lists some and receives a round of applause, mainly from the rear of the room.
The Vice Chair suggests that we are finished for the day but Norway calls for the floor. He is quite shocked by some of the accusations, he says – including accusations made about you Chairman and he queries who the Norwegian NGOs here represent. He suggests that a film referred to is a falsification. The Acting Chair comments that in making presentations NGOs are told not to make accusations to particular governments. Norway will take this matter up later under another item later he concludes and we stumble out into the evening sunshine.
Sue of WDCS and a friend