Florianópolis, Brazil, 11th September 2018. The proposal by Argentina, Brazil, Gabon, South Africa and Uruguay to declare the South Atlantic a Whale Sanctuary has again not received the necessary support of a three-quarter majority at the second day of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting.
39 Member States supported the creation, including the European Union and Switzerland, 3 Member States abstained and 25 States, including Iceland, Norway, Japan voted against the proposal.
The proposal for the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary (SAWS) has been introduced in 1998 for the first time at the IWC. If successful, it would have been the third Sanctuary declared by the IWC after the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean Sanctuary.
„We hope that the proponents do not let themselves be disheartened by the destructive blockade of some countries within the IWC and move on bilaterally with Range States to progress implementing an action plan to fully protect whales in the South Atlantic” says Nicolas Entrup, spokesperson of OceanCare.
In 2017, the Action Plan to protect whales in the South Atlantic was adopted anonymous by the Parties to the UN Convention on Migratory Species. OceanCare encourages the Range States to progress the initiative unobstructed.
OceanCare had signed-onto a respective intervention by a number of Non-Governmental Organisations in full support of the sanctuary.