Monday, June 19, 2006

Wailing about Whaling

So Japan has finally managed to pull off a pro-whaling vote at the IWC. What I find most tiresome is the allegations being thrown about bad-faith tactics by the Japanese. Here's why. The Herald has a list of countries that voted:
For: Antigua & Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Kiribati, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russian Federation, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Togo, and Tuvalu.

Against: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA.
Last time I looked, Austria, Switzerland, Cesko, Hungary, Luxembourg, San Marino, Slovakia and Switzerland were all land-locked countries. On the pro-whaling side, there's only two land-locked nations - Mongolia and Mali.

As for enticing new members, by my reckoning there have been eighteen new pro-whaling nations that have joined up over the past decade (this includes Guatamala which didn't vote and excludes Iceland because they rejoined shortly after quitting in a fit of pique) as opposed to only ten pro-whale nations. Seeing that the list of pro-whaling nations includes countries such as China and Korea, both of whom don't like the Japanese, it seems to me that whaling has a lot more support than just Japanese lucre and the old whaling nations (Denmark, Norway and Iceland).

Despite the doom and gloom, Japan's got a long way to go before it can get a resumption of commercial whaling. The BBC carries an interesting report that new members of the EU have had "a word in their ear" that it would be "a good idea" to join the IWC. The main avenue left for Japan that I can see is to point out to the uncommitted Arab countries that Israel now supports the whales.