Whale conservationists are smiling today as the International Whaling Commission meeting opened. The Japanese have failed again this year in their aggressive effort to buy votes to control the agenda of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
They did not succeed in getting all their puppet nations to show up or vote for their pro-whaling initiatives.
The whales have won over the whalers for another year.
At the first vote of the IWC meeting in St. Kitts & Nevis, the Japanese motioned for a discussion on conservation of small cetaceans to be struck from the agenda. The Japanese motion was defeated 32 to 30.
Japan then motioned for a secret ballot to decide issues hoping that nations would vote in favor of whaling if they were anonymous. That motion failed 33 to 30.
It does not appear that Japan, Norway, and Iceland can muscle the required majority votes to control the 70-member International Whaling Commission.
A couple of member nations did not show up for the meetings. Israel joined the IWC as a pro-whale conservation vote and some members leaning towards Japan have been swayed by their own citizens who lean in favor of the whales over the bribes of the whalers.
"This is great news for the whales," said Captain Paul Watson. "Japan will not make any gains this year at the IWC and for another year at least the whales are safe on paper under the law. However, the renegade illegal activities of Japan and Norway will continue and once again we must voyage to the remote and hostile waters of the Southern Oceans to search out and stop the illegal slaughter. Japan's failure to control the IWC keeps the legal credibility for our intervention solidly in our court. Once again, we will be hunting criminal whalers in Antarctic waters."
Japan has responded to the failure to muster the votes in a very childlike manner. Jouji Morishita, the director of International negotiations on whaling for the Japanese Fisheries Agency, said Japan may decide to pull out of the IWC unless the ban on commercial whaling is overturned.