Wednesday, 2 July 2008

There is Something Very Rotten in Denmark

Since 2006, when Iceland resumed its illegal whaling activities, it has claimed the killing is only for scientific purposes. The European Commission is dismisses this as a legitimate whaling activity with only Denmark supporting the Icelandic position.

Copenhagen announced in mid-May that it would invoke a rarely used measure, 'Declaration 25' an annex to the Maastricht Treaty. The declaration refers to member states that have territories outside the EU - as is the case with the Faeroe Islands and Greenland - and will allow Denmark not to be bound by the common position.

Mr. Samsing pointed out that the common position actually masks what is more of a mosaic of positions amongst EU member states. Viewing the animals, as with great apes, elephants and dolphins, to be more intelligent and socially complex than other mammals, "there are those member states that do not want any whales to be killed ever - no matter what," said the Danish diplomat.

"But then there are other member states who want to protect whale species from extinction, but once they are not endangered, the would have no problem with a resumption of the whale hunt," he added, "so long as it was done under strict conditions."

As a result, he said, the common position is agreed only for the purposes of this one IWC meeting, and no further.

"But of course, the commission will come up with something similar next year, and then we have to go through the whole rigmarole again."

What Mr. Samsing is saying here is that Denmark does not support the protection of the whales for any reason including if they are endangered.

For its part, the commission dismissed suggestions of imposing its will on anyone: “The common position was made by the highest body [in the EU], and was supported by most member states," said the commission's environment spokesperson, Barbara Helfferich.

Denmark is a major contributor to the destructive exploitation of the world’s oceans. Danish fishing fleets are amongst the most rapacious in the world and their plundering of the seas has not been dampened by the realization that there are serious ecological concerns about the ability of the oceans to survive this ceaseless plundering.

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Source: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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