The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has recently held a meeting in order to set new whaling regulations. The new rules were necessary, as officials are concerned about the status of the marine mammals. The event was held in Portoroz, Slovenia, on October 28.
Approximately ninety countries are members of the International Whaling Commission. However, only sixty-five delegates attended the meeting in Slovenia on Friday. The committee was initiated seventy years ago, by fifteen funding members.
Australia was one of the most active members at the recent meeting. Officials asked for whaling regulations that should protect the animals not only from poachers but scientists as well. Trapping and catching whales for research purposes is also a way of reducing the populations in the wild, as Australian officials declared.
Another of the committee members, namely New Zealand, backed the proposal from the Australian delegates. Thirty-four of the other members also voted in favor of the resolution, which made the majority.
As opposed to Australia and New Zealand, Japan is one of the countries which supports whaling. There is a report of no less than three hundred thirty-three minke whales captured by Japan for research purposes. The whales were taken from the Southern Ocean.
Australia also suggested that a whale reserve should be created in the Southern parts of the Atlantic Ocean. The same suggestion came from African and South-American countries.
Australia is not only an active member of the International Whaling Commission, but the country does more than that in order to benefit the whales. Specialists initiated several programs and agencies meant to raise awareness on the current situation of whales worldwide and come up with proper solutions. Countries such as the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, France and Italy are also part of these programs.
Previous reports show that thousands and thousands of whales were killed during the last century. Specialists estimate that almost three million members of the marine populations were hunted by humans.
Official statistics reveal that several whale species have been experiencing severe drops in their population numbers. The Antarctic blue whales are considered to be the biggest animal in the ocean, but there are few individuals left in the wild, especially if compared to their former number. Some whale species have only a few hundred members left worldwide. Such is the case of the North Atlantic right whale, with five hundred members, and the western North Pacific gray whale, which has less than two hundred members.
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