Whale sanctuary bid defeated
The International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting saw the defeat of a proposed whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic Ocean. Latin American countries argued that declaring a sanctuary would help whale conservation and whale-watching.
The bid gained more than half of the votes however fell short of the three-quarters majority needed to pass. Observers were aware that the vote was orderly and without animosity, a change to previous years.
Brazil's commissioner to the IWC, Marcos Pinta Gama, said he was disappointed by the result, but pleased that the vote had happened.
"We believe that the sanctuary is a very important initiative in order to ensure the protection of whales within the whole South Atlantic, to promote the non-lethal use of cetaceans and benign research that's important for conserving whales," he said.
The proposal covered almost the entire Atlantic Ocean south of the Equator, from the west coast of Africa to the east coast of South America. It would have joined up with the two existing whale sanctuaries approved by the IWC, in the Southern and Indian Oceans. However, delegations opposing the motion said there was no need for it.