Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Whaling in the Caribbean?

Despite a worldwide outcry against the hunting of whales and a ban on whaling in place since 1986, some Eastern Caribbean nations are shockingly calling for commercial whaling to be launched in the region.
At a recent meeting of Caribbean Fisheries Ministers, St. Kitts and Nevis Fisheries Minister Cedric Liburd called on Caribbean nations to follow Japan’s lead and engage in commercial whaling. But he didn’t stop here. He went on to suggest that tourists to the region should be fed whale meat, and that this would benefit the region’s tourism industry.
Send a letter to Tourism Ministers throughout the Caribbean urging them to tell their nation’s leaders not take up commercial whaling. Tell them to support the region’s thriving and growing whale watching industry – an industry worth more than U.S. $22 million annually.
A horrible idea for whales and people
The Caribbean draws millions and millions of tourists each year who visit the region to enjoy its unique natural environment – from rainforests to its stunning marine habitat where turtles, dolphins, whales and other marine creatures can be seen.
In recent years, IFAW has worked hard to support the Caribbean’s developing whale watching industry. Thousands of tourists now visit the region each year just to see whales in their natural habitat. In addition, Caribbean school children have the opportunity to take part in “floating classrooms,” an educational partnership with whale watching operators throughout the region. This irresponsible call for commercial whaling in the Caribbean puts all of this vital work at risk.
In recent years, Japan has pushed Caribbean nations to support their call for lifting the global ban on whaling. As part of their campaign to solicit support from the region, Japan has acknowledged providing millions of dollars to the region in fisheries industry development.
Please tell Caribbean leaders not to consider commercial whaling. Urge them not to follow Japan’s misguided call for a lifting of the whaling ban. Your voice can have a significant impact on their action! Please send a message today to tell Caribbean leaders that whales are worth far more alive than dead.

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