Whales, a favored tourist target in Panama will soon become the targets for South Korean harpoons for "scientific research". That was one of the decisions reached at a Panama meeting.
The meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), in Panama concluded with the rejection of a whaling sanctuary .
Representatives of 35% of the countries represented at the meeting against the conservation of the species. Despite this, for conservationists there are some positive things to .
Carlos Quezada, of the the World Association for Animal said "that there is hope", because 65% of countries favored the creation of a South Atlantic sanctuary.
Another positive aspect was that the IWC rejected rejected the proposed increase in the hunting quota for Greenland (34 votes against, including Panama, Costa Rica, and other Latin American countries, European nations, and Gabon and India), with 25 votes in favor and three abstentions. The increase was requested for the next six years.
Roxana Schteinbarg of the Whale Conservation Institute is an advocate for the whales: "I don’t think there is a person in the world that after seeing a whale does not feel joy in their heart." She was one that left disappointed by the rejection of the sanctuary.
The United States asked the meeting to approve hunting by native peoples of Alaska and northeastern Russia.
The news agency Xinhua says the ruling means that in the case of Russia and the United States hunting must not exceed 336 whales in six years, and that the maximum total that can be hunted in a year will be 67.
The hunting of gray whales in the North Pacific will be a maximum of 744 in six years and the maximum that may be hunted in a year is 140. In the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines the quota for the new period is a maximum of 24 in six years, or 4 per year.
.In the end, the U.S. got the original approval of his motion (48 in favor and 10 against), but the only votes from Latin America came from Mexico and Panama.
Gabriel Despaigne of the Panama Green Association, defended the Panamanian representative. He said the delegate of Panama to the CBI is a conservationist and that the decision to support the U.S. request came from "high diplomatic circles."
During the discussions it became clear that the position of the countries that are in favor of whaling is to continue the activity, without taking into account the arguments of conservationists advocating for whale watching as an engine to boost the economy of coastal towns and to guarantee the existence of this species of mammals in the world.
"A live whale is worth more than a dead whale" said Despaigne.
The Foreign Ministry reported that at the plenary session of the Commission a presentation was madeon the initiative being conducted by the Panama Maritime Authority to establish a separation scheme for large shipping vessels in the Bay of Panama, which is intended to prevent collisions of ships with whales that reach the coast of Panama to reproduce and nurse their young in the early months of his life.
This plan involved, the Panama Canal Authority and shippers, and has the support of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Maritime University of Panama and the environmental MarViva.