Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dominica drops support for commercial whaling - (By Ellsworth Carter)

Dominica will no longer vote with Japan in favor of commercial whaling, the prime minister said, spurning a benefactor that has built fisheries and delivered other aid for the poor Caribbean island.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a radio address Sunday that the decision to abstain from the vote at the International Whaling Conference, where it has supported Japan's position for eight years, is "in the best interest of Dominica."

Environmentalists said the reversal will burnish the image of a country that markets itself as "Nature Island" and could boost tourism for the former British colony.

"I welcome the decision although it is eight years late," said conservationist Atherton Martin, who resigned as environment minister in 2000 when the island decided to vote with Japan. Japan has been pushing for an end to the IWC ban on commercial whaling that began in 1986.

Environmental groups have accused developing nations such as Dominica of voting with Tokyo in exchange for financial aid. Last year, Skerrit renewed his support for Japan after receiving pledges for new aid including a fish-processing center. Japan also built two other fisheries in Dominica.

The government rejected allegations that its vote was for sale.

The next IWC conference is scheduled this month in Santiago, Chile.


At June 13, 2008 11:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isa shame that good news never spreads as quickly as bad news. There is still an online petition for a boycott of Dominica because of its stance on whaling.

See the article at http://www.cdnn.info/act-now/caribbean_alert/caribbean_alert.html

Please send in your outrage to the peole promoting this attack against Dominica


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