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Planet Earth

Update: International Whaling Deal Falls Apart

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This week's crucial whaling meeting continues until Friday has come and gone, but the result is... nothing. As we reported last week, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was ready to consider a proposal to lift a quarter-century-old moratorium on whaling, in exchange for agreements from whaling nations like Japan, Norway, and Iceland to reduce their catches over the coming decade.

Whaling in Antarctic waters, where Japan hunts hundreds of whales each year, would have been sharply curtailed. But that became the major sticking point in the talks. Delegates said that Japan and antiwhaling nations could not reach agreement on the size of the catch and that Tokyo had balked at agreeing to eventually phase out the hunt altogether [The New York Times].

The talks will continue into next year while some whaling continues under loopholes in the old rules. But given the present impasse it seems like the IWC nations are a long way from agreeing on anything. Related Content: 80beats: Ahead of Critical Meeting on Whaling, Japan Accused of Buying Votes

80beats: Will Commercial Whale Hunts Soon Be Authorized?

80beats: Videos Show Collision Between Japanese Whaling Ship & Protesters

80beats: Is the Whaling Ban Really the Best Way to Save the Whales?

Image: Flickr/ Rene Ehrhardt

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