Outrage as British Chief Talks of Lifting Whaling Ban

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

Outrage as British Chief Talks of Lifting Whaling Ban


Byline: RICHARD SHEARS

THE British biologist who heads the international whaling body provoked a storm yesterday by suggesting the ban on whale hunting should be lifted.

Dr Ray Gambell, secretary of the International Whaling Commission, said that 14 years after the ban was introduced, Japan and Norway still killed hundreds of whales a year.

He said the commission had to end or amend the moratorium in order to bring the two countries back under its control and avoid losing credibility within the industry.

Speaking ahead of its annual meeting in Australia next month, Dr Gam-bell said: 'Commercial whaling was stopped in 1986, and we've been arguing over what to do next since then.

The point has been reached when we must be seen to be taking action rather than just talking about it.

'We will need to move forward on measures which would allow controlled whaling - like international observers, the tracking of whale products and general monitoring of the whole operation - otherwise we will lose credibility as a body that is able to regulate whaling. Whaling is going on in Norway and Japan under the control of their governments. But it should be the IWC's job to get it under international control.

'If the commission isn't going to do it, what is its function?' But Dr Gambell's views brought a furious reaction from conservationists.

Whale-watching groups are now concerned that he has given Japan, which has continued to hunt the minke whale, grounds to support its latest plan to start hunting for two more species, the sperm and Bryde's whales. …

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