Greenpeace today urged the Dominican Government to fight the hunting of humpback whales, around 900 of which visit the country every year, whose killing the International Whaling Commission authorized in June after a 20 year ban.
Greenpeace Latin America campaign coordinator Milko Schvartzman, quoted by Efe in Santo Domingo, said the Caribbean country joined the Whaling Commission in 2009, but hasn’t paid the annual fee of around 10,000 dollars which gives a voice and vote in the entity’s meetings, the last one held June in Morocco.
The lack of a vote allowed Greenland an annual quota of nine humpbacked whales during three years, issued by the Commission of 88 countries which regulates the hunting and other actions regarding their study and tourism policies that affect their populations.
“To us it not only matters that Dominican Republic has voice and vote in commission” but its presence in the organization is important because it’s the most important whale watching country in the entire Caribbean,” Schvartzman said.
Samaná peninsula (northeast) has the Caribbean’s only humpbacked whale sanctuary, where the cetaceans visit every year to mate and birth.
Schvartzman said “each vote counts” in the International Whaling Commission, for which the Government’s presence in that forum is fundamental for their protection, because each one killed “is one humpbacked whale less which comes to the Dominican Republic.”
Commercial hunting of humpbacked whales had been banned since 1966 and since 1986 for subsistence, but in Morocco’s meeting Denmark managed authorization to hunt whales for the subsistence of communities of Greenland.