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February 2002 Vol. 28, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Caribbean Whale Slaughter

from the February, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Eastern Caribbean fishermen are illegally killing large numbers of whales and dolphins. St.Vincent and the Grenadines, a member of the International Whaling Commission, is permitted to land two humpback whales per year. St. Lucia also hunts small cetaceans. However, due to lack of enforcement, the number of estimated kills is 35 short-finned pilot whales, 18 pygmy orcas, 12 false orcas, and nearly 100 dolphins.

Last March, local whalers in St. Vincent killed two endangered humpbacks. A month before, a struggling killer whale was hauled onto a fishing trawler off St. Lucia and tourists on a whale watching trip saw local anglers trying to harpoon a sperm whale. Fishermen in the Grenadines slaughtered an endangered humpback calf and its mother in full view of tourists.

“ We hope to use positive action from tourists to encourage a change in policies,” says Greenpeace Campaigner Audrey Cardwell. “Most tourists who spend their money in the Caribbean would be very upset to know or see such hunts going on. Their fantasy is swimming with dolphins, not eating them.” Apparently Japan is financially behind the efforts in Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia, hoping to kick-start commercial whaling world wide .

If you’re diving these waters, take along your video camera. Good footage of a slaughter would do much to turn world opinion against the illegal practice.

From an article by Donald Sutherland, Earth Island Journal, Autumn 2001.

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