Accessibility links

Breaking News

International Commission to Decide on Ban on Commercial Whaling

The International Whaling Commission is meeting in the northern U.S. state of Alaska to decide whether to drop a moratorium on commercial whale hunting.

The ban was enacted in 1986 to help prevent several species of great whales from becoming extinct.

Representatives from 75 member countries will debate the issue during their annual meeting, which ends Thursday.

Pro-whaling nations such as Japan, Norway and Iceland argue that the ban can be lifted since whale populations have recovered. Approval from 56 member nations would be needed to overturn the ban.

Last year, IWC members voted 31-30 against a similar motion to repeal the ban.

Norway and Iceland are currently the only member nations to openly ignore the moratorium. Japan, which kills about 1,000 whales a year, says it hunts the animals strictly for scientific purposes, although the meat is sold to restaurants and shops.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.