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Anchorage Day Three: It's harpoons at twenty paces

"Any other scientific program in any other field that took this many samples without significant conclusions being reached would lose it's funding, and the same thing should happen here."

- Shane Rattenbury, Greenpeace International, on JARPA II (source: Greenpeace Defending the Whales blog, 30.5.07)

Still waiting for the IWC website to post a Day Three press release, and it's now after 4am Thursday Anchorage time. Must have been one helluva traumatic day in there!

Wednesday saw the passage of a motion berating Japan for conducting its notorious "scientific research" program. Or, as the motion, proposed by New Zealand and sponsored by several other nations, says: "The Commission... calls upon the Government of Japan to suspend indefinitely the lethal aspects of JARPA II conducted within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary."

The pro-Japan faction of the IWC abstained en bloc. The full text of the resolution can be seen here.

Alaska Public Radio has been doing some excellent coverage of IWC59 in their daily Alaskan Nightly News broadcast, including audio of some of the emotive discussions. Reportage, including MP3s, of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the APRN website.

Brazil's proposal for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary was scuttled. While gaining a simple majority it failed, predictably, to get the 75% of the vote required. In short, it would have created a sanctuary in the Atlantic from the equator southwards until joining up with the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean sanctuaries.

Also Wednesday, the Makah people of Washington state have had their claim to harvest twenty Gray whales over the next five years approved. However, US federal law still stands in their way, as their application for an exemption under the Marine Mammals Protection Act is pending. Reports from KOMO-4 (Seattle's ABC affiliate) and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Also noteworthy today, a press release from IFAW, an article from National Geographic News, and it's about time I mentioned the Sydney Morning Herald's Whale Watch site.

And the Warrnambool Standard, the local rag of that whale-watching mecca of western Victoria, reports the campaign to lobby Warrnambool's sister city, Miura, to save the whales.