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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The proposal brought by five African and South American countries needed the support of ¾ of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)'s 88 members. When In the event, 24 countries were opposed, including Japan.
Japan is one of a handful of countries including Norway and Iceland still hunting whales via a loophole in a 30yr.old global moratorium, allowing "scientific whaling" – essentially using a tape measure to justify commercial harvesting of whales.
Hermano Telles Ribeiro, Brazil's IWC envoy said after the vote: "Brazil does not accept the practice of scientific whaling. The loophole should not be there at all."
He said it was high time to tighten the 70yr.old International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. That moratorium was introduced at the urging of environmentalists, to preserve dwindling whale stocks in the world's oceans.
The sanctuaries improved protection of whales from pollution and entanglement in fishing nets. Scientists estimate 300,000+ whales and dolphins die annually after being accidentally caught in fishing gear.
Environmentalists say the South Atlantic is crucial to preserving whale diversity. It is an area that is critically important to a wide range of whale species.