Calling for members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to uphold a current ban on whaling, three different petitions have been presented to IWC members convening this week. The first contains 1 million citizen signatures, while the second has 200,000. The third has been signed by over 200 scientists from 30 different countries to call for the existing 1986 ban on whaling to remain in place for the continued survival of cetaceans.
The 88 member states of the IWC are currently meeting in Morocco, where they are considering a suspension of the ban. Supreme Master Television spoke with US-based Animal Welfare Institute Wildlife Research Associate Serda Ozbenian about the situation of the hunted whales.
Serda Ozbenian - Wildlife Research Associate, Animal Welfare Institute (F): Can whales survive commercial fishing? No, they can’t. Whales are a very long lived species. No whale populations have rebounded from the intensive fishing of the whaling era. There’s no evidence to show that there is such a thing as sustainable whaling.
Their biology is just not built for it. They have very long gestation periods. They are very social animals, therefore they raise their young, it takes them a very long time to mature and reach breeding age. So, absolutely not.
VOICE: According to video documentation, whales also die a slow and painful death, with one instance filmed over two hours where harpoons with explosives were used. Ms. Ozbenian points out the further senselessness of whaling in that the demand for the meat today is extremely low, causing stockpiles to build.
Serda Ozbenian (F): Before the ban was put into place, a lot of whale populations were almost nearing extinction. The ban has really been a saving grace for whale species and it should be upheld, and whaling needs to be stopped, especially in this day and age. There’s barely any demand for the meat and it’s really pointless and extremely cruel.
VOICE: We are grateful and applaud the efforts of Ms. Ozbenian, Animal Welfare Institute, international scientists and all concerned petition signatories, for your advocacy to preserve the whales. Our prayers for the protection and respect of these beautiful marine creations. Supreme Master Ching Hai was moved to tears by all these caring actions and involvements throughout the world, and she conveyed her wholehearted wish that the cruelty of whaling be stopped immediately.