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Eskimo subsistence whaling reaffirmed

Aboriginal subsistence hunting of approximately 56 bowhead whales a year till 2012 has been approved on day two of IWC59.

Here's the background paper prepared for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Committee, and a paper submitted by Russia on behalf of the Chuktoka people. The "needs" statements for Japan and Greenland are yet to be discussed.

There are believed to be approximately 10,000 bowheads in the Arctic, and the IWC decided by consensus that harvesting of 280 over the next five years was sustainable. Ten Alaskan village, plus members of the Chukotka Autonomous District, are the beneficiaries.

Reports from Associated Press and the Anchorage Daily News.

Tuesday's daily press release from the IWC is not out yet, but here's the release from Day One Monday. There are now 76 countries in the IWC, of which 71 are present. Of those, Japan would need 54 votes to overturn the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.