Antigua and Barbuda proposes to overturn decades-old ban on commercial whaling


A resolution submitted by pro-whaling countries including Antigua and Barbuda has sought to reopen a formal debate on commercial whaling.

The 40-year ban could be overturned after the proposal was submitted at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Portorož, Slovenia.

The 88 member countries are expected to take a vote on Tuesday on the said resolution.

This comes after the country has also co-sponsored a resolution with Cambodia, Guinea and the Gambia which argues how fishing practices could contribute to food security and address poverty, said a report by the Guardian.

The report also mentions wildlife protection organisations like OceanCare and HumaneSociety have said that these resolutions threaten the progress made by the IWC.

The OceanCare director of international relations, Nicolas Entrup, has dismissed the idea of “sustainable whaling” calling it “ridiculous”.

“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,” said Entrup. According to the media report, commercial whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries had nearly brought the mammals to the brink of extinction.

“People assume the whaling ban, which has saved the lives of hundreds and thousands of cetaceans, is done and dusted. But the ban is in jeopardy as long as there are nations in the IWC who will vote to return to whaling,” said Wendy Higgins, director of international media at Humane Society International.

This comes four years after a similar proposal of lifting the ban on commercial whaling by Japan was rejected by the IWC. Tokyo at the time had also said how whaling could be done sustainably.

At the time, IWC reportedly reiterated its role as a conservation-focused organisation and said that the threats to whales are not just limited to hunting but also include ship strikes, climate crisis and fishing bycatch.

Subsequently, Japan left the IWC and started commercial whaling again since it was no longer bound to comply with its restrictions.

This comes amid the IWC facing financial difficulties following Japan’s exit, the Covid pandemic, and the Global economic crisis, said the report.

At least a quarter of the 88 member countries have not paid their annual dues.

On Monday, the commission also altered the rules that ban countries in arrears from voting acknowledging how the pandemic has disproportionately affected developing countries.

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  1. Gaston selling out to the Japanese again. Whaling has never been a part of Antigua culture. Just another sell out.

  2. Antigua can not be a pro-whaling country when it is clear that big specifies like whale do not produce offspring often and is basically endangered.

    Why on earth would a caribbean Island support whaling?

    Who or what country is influencing the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in such detrimental manner?

  3. Antiguans do not eat whales nor has no clue about whaling so the only question is… How much money did they get for their support???

  4. This son of Mami_Wata and Papa_Elegba, CHRISTened, #Jumbee_Picknee at life’s crossROAD ❌🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️☦️☦️☦️⚔️❌✝️☠️☠️ of SWASTIKA & SQUARE have always stressed, the significance of REDONDA, to our TRI-ISLAND STATE.
    The Nations Naitical Miles(boundaries) will play and do play a significant role in the future of the Nation, as it relates to FOOD SECURITY, as is mentioned in this article.

    These questions MUST be answered by the authorities…

    1…is Japan a major player in the Whaling Industry still trawling our opens seas with their MEGA TRAWLERS and what returns are we getting? A few 20’x20’ Buildings used as ice storage facilities are not enough for the millions which they reap from our seas.

    2…are the Chinese doing the same on our open seas?

    3…who will own those new artificial reefs which are now being deployed in our waters? Will the owners, if not Our Government, have the rights to these reefs like fishermen do with their pots, traps and nets? These reefs once established, will be sources for food because nature will run its course.

    4…Who owns REDONDA? Allegedly, it’s owned by a California philanthropist. Is this the same group which is involved in the PLH Project on Barbuda.

    Kum een Smarty Junior…

    🎹🎶🎼 de pirates coming
    Dey coming with might!

    Update to Snarty Junior lyrics, The Pirates🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️are not only coming, they’re now setting up again to raid our resources to make their Corporations wealthy and wealthier off of our resources.

    To be forewarned is to be forearmed…


  5. “A resolution submitted by pro-whaling countries including Antigua and Barbuda has sought to reopen a formal debate on commercial whaling”.

    Did I miss this in our Local News?

    How would this benefit us here in Antigua & Barbuda?

    I am listening to hear what the relevant Ministry has to say to the public.

    • @Audley Dave Joseph(a.k.a Beef)…a wah a guarne?

      Several months ago, I asked you the question, as to who owns REDONDA?

      The Nation’s #Nautical #Miles #Matters. Things such as Whaling and Trawling in the Nation’s waters are the reason why!

  6. Go down the the government quarry, maybe the loading shovel with the plaque proclaiming ‘proudly donated by the people of Japan to Antigua and Barbuda’ needs an air filter, so selling out seems the best way to get one.

  7. How much is the Antiguan government receiving to back this initiative.

    More creative enrichment?


  9. The amount of hypocrisy in the comments is laughable.

    There is a certain amount of arrogance that comes from the West (read that as being primarily Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia-New Zealand) in trying to dictate what people eat. So this arrogance is foisting the idea upon people that because Westerners do not eat certain foods (whale, dolphins etc) then the rest of the world should not eat it as well. This is arrogant and presumptuous.

    In India, cattle are sacred animals and so the large majority of Indians do not eat beef. However, I have never heard an Indian insisting that the West must stop consuming beef. Why? Because they respect the right of people to eat the foods they desire. Why then must the West try to dictate if people should or should not eat whale? In St. Vincent, whale has been eaten for generations and it is still eaten today.

    Antigua’s stance on this issue is therefore in line with how it has ALWAYS voted at the IWC, even during the tenure of the UPP: Antigua has always voted to end the ban on whaling. It is a consistent position that recognizes the right of people to eat whale, if they so desire. You may not eat whale, and that’s fine. But don’t try to stop others from eating it if they so desire.

    It is as simple as that.

    • @Wash an’ Basin…to the Nation of Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA, the issue is not about what people eat or don’t eat. The issue is, the abuse and use of the Nation’s RESOURCES by multi billion corporations and the returns which the People of the Nation of Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA gets and how these returns are accounted for.


    • You speak from a pulpit of ignorance; this is not a question of hindering the choice of what anyone eats. Mostly nobody gives a rats ass what anyone else decides to consume. It is simply a question of sustainability and wiping out an entire species of creatures that have been around before humans have. Keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t understand the tru issue here.

      • @Smfh….You, my friend, have been sacrificed on the altar of idiocy. I wouldn’t even attempt to explain to you since your mind is too small to understand how Western nations foist their ideologies on all. Other species are caught in a sustainable way, but when it comes to certain species it’s suddenly a problem. Being the sacrificial idiot that you are has consigned you to a life of a small mind.

  10. If my country start killing whales, I will make it well known to all tourists to not spend any money here.

    They have certain people here living like kings and the rest of us living squalor. We can’t even get our pension. But I will do everything I can to make sure tourists are informed the government here who does not represent us are allowing whales to be hunted and killed.

    I won’t allow my country to become like Japan

    • Bully for you🙏🏿 You hit the nail on the head! Caribbean Tourism does not blend with or support whaling! Antigua is a paradox out there anyway, an island where international crooks reside and tourism is their washing machine.

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