The chair and vice-chair of the International Whaling Commission have introduced a draft proposal they say would save several thousand whales from capture over 10 years.
The proposal, which would bring all whaling operations under full IWC control, will go before the annual meeting of the 88 member governments in June. Read the proposal
The plan keeps a moratorium on commercial whaling and, if approved, would set catch limits below present levels and provide ‚Äúrigorous oversight and enforcement,‚ÄĚ according to a news release from the IWC.
The proposal would, in particular, bring three countries ‚Äď Japan, Norway and Iceland - under IWC-set sustainable limits, the news release said. The three now set their own catch limits.
"It will be a major achievement if, despite some fundamental differences of views on whaling, our member countries can put these differences aside for a period to focus on ensuring the world has healthy whale stocks," said Cristian Maquieira, chair of the IWC.
"This consensus decision would represent a delicate balance of accommodations by all IWC members and establish a 10-year period of stability during which we can work to resolve our major long-term issues," said Anthony Liverpool, IWC vice-chair.
The chair and vice-chair are elected from among member countries and usually serve for three years.