IWC-66 reconvened today to take a vote on the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, discuss several draft resolutions, and address Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW).
The proposal to establish a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary failed to reach the required 75% majority. The proposal was thus rejected, with 38 members voting in favor, 24 opposing and 2 abstaining. Several participants expressed disappointment with this outcome, noting that the proposal included an extensive management plan to enhance conservation and management activities, non-lethal research, education, and economic development of coastal communities. Opponents of the proposal, however, felt establishing a Sanctuary would be against the principle of sustainable use, would not be necessary to ensure the conservation of whales, or would set an undesirable precedent.
Participants also discussed, but could not reach conclusion on, draft resolutions on: food security; strengthening the capacity of governments with limited means to participate in the Commissionâ€™s work; cetaceans and ecosystem functioning; the Minamata Convention on Mercury; and the critically endangered vaquita. These draft resolutions will be discussed again later during the week.
The meeting also addressed ASW, hearing a presentation on ASW in the context of international human rights law. Participants considered the report of the ASW Sub-Committee, the ASW Management Procedure, the development of an Aboriginal Whaling Scheme, ASW catch limits, and the ASW Voluntary Fund.
Throughout the day, informal consultations proceeded on draft resolutions discussed on Monday, including on enhancing the effectiveness of the IWC and improving the review process for whaling under special permit.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web highlights from IWC66. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report of the meeting in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB
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Plenary session on Tuesday
Brazil making a statement after the vote on the proposed Sanctuary
Final vote count on the proposed South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary
Joji Morishita, Japan, IWC Vice-Chair
Piran harbor entrance
Slovenian delights at NGO reception
Veggie hors d’oeuvres at NGO reception