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IFAW calls on SVG to vote for South Atlantic whale sanctuary

IFAW calls on SVG to vote for South Atlantic whale sanctuary



A CALL IS BEGINNING for St Vincent and the Grenadines to change their position at the 60th International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting to be held later this month.

Kelvin Alie, senior program officer at International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), in an interview with Searchlight on Tuesday, June 10th, stated that he would like the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines to vote for the South Atlantic whale sanctuary that is being proposed by the Latin American countries.{{more}}

Alie is also hoping that the government will not attend the IWC meeting on Tuesday, June 24th, in Santiago, Chile, and most importantly, “abstain from voting on any issue pertaining to the commercial killing of whales”. Alie, a Dominican, informed Searchlight that the Dominican government will not be attending the IWC meeting, which means they would not be supporting any efforts to resume commercial whaling. This, he believes, is “a good thing”. The Conservation Biologist feels that the countries of the Eastern Caribbean have the potential to develop a successful whale watching industry and eco- tourism activities as well.

However, Edwin Snagg, Commissioner for St Vincent and the Grenadines to the IWC, said that this country’s position on whaling remains unchanged. According to Snagg, this country has the right to explore its marine resources to feed its people and to bring benefit to its economy. Snagg stated that the management of the lobster and conch catching seasons is evidence that shows the country’s ability to manage its resources.

The International Whaling Commission is a body that provides for proper conservation of whale stocks, which makes possible the orderly development of industry.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is allowed to catch up to four humpback whales each year for local consumption only.