Whaling ban in danger


TESS VIGELAND: It may be time to dust off that old "Save the Whales" button. The International Whaling Commission meets today in the Caribbean. Activists fear a 20-year ban on commercial whaling could be sunk. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.

AMY SCOTT: Japan is expected to win enough allies this weekend to potentially gut the commercial whaling ban.

Vassily Papastavrou is a whale biologist with the International Fund for Animal Welfare. He says Japan doesn't have enough votes to actually overturn the moratorium. But he says opponents could institute a secret ballot or block other conservation efforts.

VASSILY PAPASTAVROU: So a lot of the important work of the International Whaling Commission could be brought to an abrupt end. And the IWC could be back in the hands of the whalers for the first time since the 1970s.

Japanese officials say whale hunting is part of their national heritage. But demand for whale meat is sluggish. A glut from legal research hunts has sent prices plunging.

In New York, I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.
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