IPS NEWS AGENCY
WASHINGTON â€” Environmental groups expressed little hope the participants at the 61st annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting last week in Portugal, would reach a compromise that would reduce the number of whales killed each year.
Delegates from more than 80 countries will continue the two-decade dispute between pro-whaling countries like Japan, Iceland, and Norway, and anti-whaling ones like the U.S., the EU and Australia. They will examine an IWC compromise proposal under which Japan would exchange at least part of its Southern Ocean research quota for permission to hunt in its coastal waters.
"I don't think this is the meeting of the breakthrough," Remi Parmentier of the U.S.-based Pew Whales Conservation Project told the Associated Press (AP) from Madeira.
Greenpeace whaling campaigner Sara Holden feared the talks would fail to end the long-standing stalemate.
"My main concern is that the delegates here are simply going to sit on their hands content to talk for another year whilst whales continue to die," Holden told AP Television News.