"Year after year, countries come [to the IWC] with unalterable positions. They refuse to listen to reasoned debates. They refuse carte blanche to accept any scientific data tabled and this in my opinion is a disservice to the people's of the world, particularly the peoples whose economy depends on the vast ocean resources for their livelihood."
-- Antigua Minister of Agriculture and Food Joanne Massiah (2006)
"We are accused of selling our votes and prostituting our sovereignty, but as sovereign states we take great offense to this"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)
"The science certainly says that a number of the species are on the rebound and it is safe to engage in commercial whaling activities again"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)
"The position taken by Caribbean countries within the IWC remains rooted in respect for cultural diversity, traditions of coastal peoples as well as coastal state rights, relevant national and international laws, the need for science based management, the contribution of marine resources to our respective economies, poverty reduction and food security"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)
"It is no secret that communities in countries like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Japan, have been hunting and eating whales for generations. This failure on the part of some developing countries to support the proposal by Japan for small type coastal whaling is about 'big countries' trying to direct, dictate and determine how people in smaller countries should live."
-- Antigua & Barbuda IWC Commissioner, Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2005)
“As a member of IWC, Antigua & Barbuda is well placed to support the harvesting of whales through the establishment of proper scientific management systems.”
“The Whaling Commission has the management authority only for the 13 species of large whales including the humpback whale harvested by the people of Bequia and according to scientific data, several of these whale stocks are abundant and the take of a relatively small number for food in areas such as the north Atlantic, north Pacific, the Caribbean and the Antarctic will not affect the nature or abundance of whale resources or whale-watching opportunities.”
“As a small island state we build alliances with international partners who respect our cultural values and support our efforts to develop the country’s fisheries sector.”
-- Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2006)
"Our position is very clear and we will continue to support the sustainable utilisation of marine resources including marine mammals in a way and at a rate that will ensure that it lasts for generations to come."
"As a Tourist destination we welcome visitors from all over the world irrespective of their views and aspiration in life and therefore expect international organizations and individuals who disagree with our position to have some respect for our views and desist from making threats against our livelihood,"
"As indicated before, our position at IWC is based on tolerance and respect for cultural values, the right of fisher folk to earn a living and adherence to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and other relevant national and international law such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as well as the need for science-based management, policy and rule-making"
"I believe that it is time for the IWC to move toward more productive and meaningful discussions that will bring the organization back to its fundamental purpose of regulating catch quotas at levels so that whale stocks will not be threatened."
-- Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2006)
"The fact is that as a sovereign nation, we take positions based on study, due consideration and what we think is right. On the question of whaling, we have looked at the scientific arguments for normalisation and the arguments I have heard suggest to me that whaling can be conducted in a manner that is sustainable and that would not deplete the whale stock in a way that would negatively impact on the survival of the species"
"At the United Nations, at the World Health Organisation and in many other fora, Antigua & Barbuda votes according to how we view the issue. Sometimes our viewpoint will coincide with the US and at others it may not. Sometimes it will coincide with Japan and at other times it may not. At the end of the day it is our decision and we must make the decision based on how we view the issue"
-- Minister of Tourism Harold Lovell (2006)
"We would welcome the lifting of the moratorium. This is a creature like all others that people depend upon for food, and therefore because of its abundance we think that we can take a limited amount and make some money out of it."Grenada (1993):
-- Dominican IWC comissioner Lloyd Pascal (2005)
"The vast majority of Dominicans support the sustainable use of marine resources"
-- Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (2006)
"For too long, the IWC has found one way or another to delay the implementation of the Revised Management Scheme that was developed by the Commission's Scientific Committee"
"We, as members of an international body, can't continue like this. The distinguished scientists of the Scientific Committee have worked long and hard, and yet the management scheme has not yet been approved and implemented. Are we going to wait another 10 or 15 years before action is taken?"
-- Grenada Cabinet Minister Claris Charles (2003)
"The state of Grenada is a very tolerant state. We do not intend to be intolerant of those whose culture and eating habits involve whales."
"Years ago, we were told what to eat. Slaves were given salty fish to eat when the seas were abundant with fish. Because we are small and underdeveloped, there is that lack of respect. There is that feeling that we can be bought, we can be sold."
"We have the right to use our maritime resources for the survival and livelihood of our people."
-- Claris Charles (2006)
"Kiribati's position has been based very much on its concerns for the conservation of its marine resources"Nauru (2005):
"We're basically concerned that given that the fisheries resources are our main resource, that the issue of whaling is considered very carefully. And we have been asking for independent data to assist us in making a stance on this issue"
-- Kiribati Foreign Secretary Taam Biribo (2005)
"Recent criticism in the media concerning Nauru's involvement in the IWC is an unfair intrusion on Nauru's sovereignty"
"The Government of Nauru is a responsible government. We have a voice on issues concerning the Pacific Ocean, and our decision to vote for commercial whaling was a carefully considered decision."
"Some whale species have the potential to devastate our tuna stocks, and, as a country whose food security and economy relies heavily on fishing, it is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of our people's livelihoods."
"Nauru voted openly at the meeting, and we stand by our vote. Foreign governments have an obligation to respect our national decisions and not to undermine our sovereignty by suggesting that our participation in the IWC was motivated by anything other than securing the best outcome for our people."
-- Permanent Representative of Nauru to the United Nations, Ambassador Marlene Moses (2005)
Solomon Islands (1993):
* Dolphins are caught in the Solomon Islands
"The Caribbean has always believed that the resources of the sea should be managed, managed for the development and the sustenance of the people of the Caribbean and worldwide."St. Lucia (1981):
We are convinced that the sustainable use of these resources are in the best interest of the international community and its our hope that the conference would see it that way, including the utilisation of those stocks of whales which science has shown are not in any danger of being depleted."
-- St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas (2006)
"For fisheries management or any type of management of wild species we cannot and should not make decisions based on emotions."
-- St. Kitts and Nevis senior fisheries officer Joe Simmonds (2006)
"Our position in the IWC is to support the sustainable use of all marine resources including whales. No one should be surprised that as small island states, we ascribe to this position since we are dependent on the use of marine resources for food and development."
"The fact is that the IWC's own Scientific Committee has agreed that many species and stocks of whales are abundant and sustainable whaling is possible."
"We should not accept placing the use of whales outside this context of globally accepted norms for emotional reasons because it sets a bad precedent that risks our use of fisheries and other renewable resources. The anti-whaling NGOs also have other anti-use campaigns that are directly targeted at the fish and fisheries that sustain the livelihoods of many people in the Caribbean."
-- St. Kitts Minister Cedric R. Liburd (2006)
* Pilot whales are caught in St. Lucia
* As of 2006, St. Vincent is the only nation in the world actively harvesting Humpback whales
"Tuvalu has always been a supporter of the need exploit and use the marine resources in a sustainable manner and this includes whaling. So that it has always been the position of Tuvalu in support of sustainable management of our marine resources including whale."
"From the scientific research and evidence that Tuvalu has been able to use and excess to that it gives the support to the view that there is still that scope for using whales at the moment."
-- Tuvalu's High Commissioner to Fiji Seve Paeniu (2006)
"[W]e are an aid-dependent country and we feel that we should be left to make our decisions without any influences"
-- Tuvalu Prime Minister Maatia Toafa (2006)
"Like the rest of the Caribbean, we believe in the sustainable use of our resources, and we will be pushing for that policy to be fully embraced by the Commission."Panama (2001):
"We believe that developing nations must pursue a policy of sustainable use, and that's what we will be doing alongside our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean."
"We are a coastal community, and we believe we have every right to belong to this organization. There have long been discussions on migratory species and the impact on all marine animals and cetacean species. As a nation that has a large fishing industry, we feel we have a right to belong to the IWC, and we plan to support our Caribbean neighbors."
-- Belizean fisheries official Ismael Garcia (2003)
"Belize can't be taking this as an emotional issue because whales sing to each other...as individuals each person might have their own idea on whether they should kill whales or not...as a country we support scientific evidence that a resource can be sustainably managed."
-- Ministry of Agriculture CEO Michael Tewes (2005)
* Belize is an interesting case. Belize was originally recruited to the IWC in 1982 by anti-whaling groups in order to impose the commercial whaling moratorium, but later withdrew it's membership in 1988. Some anti-whaling groups accused Belize of taking "bribes" from Japan prior to IWC 58 in 2006, yet at the meeting they surprised:A key vote against the measure came from Belize, a small Central American country that has received aid from Japan and had been expected by environmental groups to support it on the whaling commission.Belize went on to vote against all pro-sustainable use proposals at IWC 58. They did not seek to speak to the assembly in the debates regarding these issues to explain their position.
"We are all from the Caribbean and Central American region, and we share the same features as developing countries which are seeking to spur our economic and social development," he said. "We have a right to be in the IWC just like the large and rich nations, and we are strong advocates of the sustainable use of marine resources. We expect that other Central American states like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador may soon become full fledged members."
-- Panama's alternate IWC Commissioner Espimendez Diaz (2003)
* Panama voted against all sustainable use proposals at IWC 58 in 2006
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