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Save the Whales!

The statistics say it all. The blue whales of the Antarctic are at less than 1 percent of their original abundance, despite 40 years of complete protection. Some populations of whales are recovering but some are not. Only one population, the East Pacific grey whale, is thought to have recovered to its original abundance, but the closely related West Pacific grey whale population is the most endangered in the world. It hovers on the edge of extinction with just over 100 remaining. Whaling is no longer the only threat to whales. The oceans, or rather, human impacts on the oceans, have changed dramatically over the half-century since whales have been protected. Known environmental threats to whales include global warming, pollution, overfishing, ozone depletion, noise such as sonar weaponry, and ship strikes. Industrial fishing threatens the food supply of whales and also puts whales at risk of entanglement in fishing gear. Despite these accumulating threats, an increasing number of nations in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) are voting for an immediate resumption of commercial whaling. Some new and enthusiastic members of the IWC include Benin, Gabon, Tuvalu and Nauru. Obviously, these new memberships and voting numbers do not reflect a change in world opinion. These countries have all been recruited to join the IWC and vote under what is termed a “vote consolidation program” by the Fisheries Agency of Japan. Expectations for the recovery of whale populations have been based on the assumption that, except for commercial whaling, their place in the oceans is as secure as it was a hundred years ago. Sadly, this assumption is no longer valid. This is why we believe that commercial whaling in all forms must be stopped. Join us with Greenpeace in telling the world whaling is not acceptable



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