U.S. Sells Out on Commercial Whaling

Contravening an international ruling, the Reagan administration has signed an agreement with Japan allowing the latter to carry on with commercial whaling.

| March/April 1985

  • commercial whaling
    With U.S. approval, Japan is going to continue commercial whaling beyond 1983.
    Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff

  • commercial whaling

Even though all sperm whaling was supposed to stop with the spring hunt of 1983, the United States has signed an agreement that allows Japan to continue commercial whaling through 1987. This action directly contradicts a 1981 International Whaling Commission ruling that the U.S. signed to protect the whales.

According to Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge, Japan has agreed to cease all commercial whaling by the end of 1987 in return for the U.S. concession. But dispatches in Japanese newspapers quote Japanese officials as saying they don't intend to stop whaling. Thus, more whales are fated to end up as lipstick and pet food on Japanese supermarket shelves. "The U.S. government has just gone back on its 13-year campaign in behalf of the whales," said FOE's wildlife specialist, David Phillips.

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