Antigua and Barbuda says it has not agreed to lift whaling ban

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

SOURCE LOOP NEWS: The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has denied that it gave approval for any of its representatives at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to support moves to lift a ban on whaling.

A statement from the government today said: “Cabinet has NOT agreed to lift the ban on hunting of whales and is not aware of any statement which suggests otherwise.”

The comment from the Antigua and Barbuda government came after international media and marine charities reported that Antigua and Barbuda joined Japan and several other countries to propose that the whaling ban be overturned.

Marine wildlife protection charity, OceanCare, claimed that Antigua and Barbuda and countries that support the lifting of the ban proposed that whales be seen as a food source to secure food and nutritional security.

Nicolas Entrup, OceanCare´s Director for International Relations, commented: “Instead of losing precious time with decade-old debates about fabricated scenarios like ´sustainable whaling´ and false solutions to ´food security’ the IWC should urgently take up the real pressing issues: climate change and plastic pollution.”

”The IWC´s own Scientific Committee and Conservation Committee have done great work to highlight these problems and point the way how to tackle them. It is this spirit of the Florianópolis Declaration which is the way forward for a modern, conservation oriented IWC.”

At today’s post-cabinet media briefing Ambassador Lionel Hurst, chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s Office, stated that 48 countries had proposed the resolution, which he noted is always on the IWC’s agenda at their annual convention.

“It is a permanent feature of the international whaling commission…The majority will always voted down and it is expected that this resolution will be voted down. Antigua and Barbuda has always taken a very keen interest in this subject matter,” he stated. “Our friends in Japan have taken a keen interest in this matter. But it is the way it has worked out in times past and even in this present moment that the resolution will be voted down and therefore no harm comes to the whales.”

He noted that people in Caribbean countries and territories do not eat whale meat but they have an interest in making sure there is food security.

Hurst said Antigua and Barbuda usually stands “on the right side of history” when it comes to environmental matters as he highlighted the country’s stance on wealthy nations claiming territory in Antarctica.

He described the comments and protests by international environmental bodies on the matter as “noise”.

“If you are going to judge us merely on the issue of whales, I dare say that you’d get a very skewed view on the manner in which Antigua and Barbuda approaches the subject matter,” he said.


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