For the world of sea creature lovers, young and old, not to mention the the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) of which Sweden's own King is the Protector, the politicians might just as well have been screaming "Kill Willy!" or "Nuke the Whales" when the Stockholm government said it was seeking a "compromise" that would allow Japan, Norway and Iceland to legally continue slaughtering whales.

Royally peeving the WWF, Greenpeace, "save the whales" societies and most of the European Union ministers, Sweden's Environmental Minister, Andreas Carlgren, along with Danish pro-whale-whacking fans gave their consent to a measure that would introduce quotas for commercial whale hunting. Once enacted, the proposed "compromise" will allow hunters to legally kill the giant ocean mammals for the first time in 24 years, although illegal slaughter has gone on throughout the moratorium, which was enacted in 1986.

Replying to this, Carlgren contended that a regulated quota system would lead to fewer whale deaths. It was not specified at this time exactly what forces would be regulating the harvesting of the animals, nor the penalties and punishment for disobeying quotas and restrictions. Australia and New Zealand are firmly opposed to lifting the existing ban, and Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Holland and England oppose anything that would legalize whale hunting.

Critics also fear that lifting the ban will attract newcomers to whale hunting from hitherto uninvolved nations' fishing industries. The 88 countries of the International Whaling Commission will vote on the proposal late this month at their meeting in late Morocco.

According to confirmed accounts, Japan is currently offering compensation to smaller countries on the IWC in exchange for their vote in favor of resumption of whale hunting. Under the proposal, Japanese whalers can hunt in sensitive areas outside the Antarctic, although a reserve will be established in the South Pacific.

http://europaportalen.se