6/24/10 A controversial plan that would have meant the end of a 24-year long moratorium on commercial whaling was today put on ice for a year by the International Whaling Commission at its annual meeting.
The 88 IWC member governments meeting in Agadir failed to agree on the proposed compromise between whale conservation nations and whaling nations that would have legalized whaling in return for bringing the hunt under IWC control.
Currently, three whaling nations - Japan, Norway and Iceland - set their own quotas without regard for the moratorium observed by all other countries.
Japan conducts "research" whaling in Antarctica's Southern Ocean and North Pacific under a provision of the IWC treaty, while Norway and Iceland have taken objections to the IWC moratorium. The three countries have killed more than 33,000 whales since the the moratorium took effect in 1986.
The proposal by IWC chairman Cristian Maquieira of Chile and vice chairman Anthony Liverpool of Antigua and Barbuda was the result of three years of negotiations, but even they have said repeatedly that it does not reflect their personal views and was tabled merely as a basis for discussion.