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Divisions in the whaling world

The Guardian reports on divisions in the whaling world. Chile vows to protect the sea mammals while Japan remains committed to whaling, ahead of next week’s International Whaling Commission meeting.

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Story Transcript

TEXT ON SCREEN: This is Greenpeace footage of whales being hunted in the Antarctic. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986.

AIMEE LESLIE, CAMPAIGNER, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE: A whale is worth more alive than dead. And in that sense, there are only three countries in the world who continue whaling. That’s Japan, Norway, and Iceland. The one that most actively promotes whaling is Japan.

TEXT ON SCREEN: However, Japan uses a loophole in the moratorium that allows it to slaughter whales for "scientific research."

LESLIE: And they start hunting 273 minke whales, and nowadays they’re hunting 1,500 whales of five different species. So the variety and quantity of whales that is hunted has gone up on a yearly basis.

TEXT ON SCREEN: The 60th annual International Whaling Commission meeting takes place in Chile on June 23. Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, says hunting whales is not acceptable.

MICHELLE BACHELET, CHILEAN PRESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Chile will reject the capture and killing of whales for scientific reasons. We will send a bill to parliament which will declare Chile a territory free from whale hunting, and they will be formally declared a natural monument.

ANA LYA URIARTE, CHILEAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): Today Chile has a law that monitors the hunting of whales up to 2026. We want to modify that supreme decree to make it permanent. In this way, there would be a permanent monitoring of whale hunting in Chile.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Recently, Japanese whalers were frustrated by activists from Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd. Protesters claimed crew members took whale meat home for private consumption or to sell. Two Greenpeace activists have been arrested in Japan accused of stealing whale meat to use as evidence.

SAMUEL LEIVA, GREENPEACE (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): On an international level we are supporting the Chilean government in order to get concrete things like a whale sanctuary in international waters. It will be called the Whale Sanctuary of Southern Antarctica. These are international waters between Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa. The northern boundary is with Ecuador and the southern is the existing sanctuary in Antarctica.

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