About Us | TwitterFacebook

Archived 2012 – 2013 Green Vegans Campaigns

We sent a delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) because you cared. Thank you. We met our funding goal.

Request for Funds to Attend IWC 64

Since 1997 Will Anderson and Tami Drake have attended five International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings. We attended those meetings specifically to address aboriginal subsistence whaling (ASW) quotas. After those quotas are issued, the contracting governments divide the quotas between themselves through multilateral agreements. These quotas have been allocated every five years. Now, in 2012 at the 64th meeting of the IWC in Panama, another quota decision will be made, this time for six years. We will not have another chance to influence these quotas until 2018. As proposed, up to 2,430 whales will be killed under ASW with more allowed to be wounded and escape.

Three species of whales are included in the joint ASW US/Russian/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines proposal: humpback whales; gray whales; and bowhead whales. The Greenland proposal includes four:  fin, minke, bowhead, and humpback whales. The quotas to kill them include five areas from Siberia to the Caribbean. Aboriginal subsistence whaling is a highly controversial, divisive, and sensitive issue. Few organizations are willing to oppose it entirely. Because of this, important aspects of this issue are not closely examined by the IWC member governments.

When positions are taken at the IWC, distinctions are usually made regarding the appropriateness and need for ASW on a case-by-case basis. In recent years the IWC has accepted “cultural” need as sufficient when demonstrated nutritional need should have been required.  In addition, the ASW proposals are strategically lumped into one proposal, thus allowing the extraordinary differences in each case to be ignored. For instance, the Makah of Neah Bay, Washington State, supported by the U.S. Government without due diligence with regard to the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act, have proposed a highly controversial resumption of whaling that has incurred significant opposition but will be included in the US/Russian/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joint proposal. This makes the Makah hunt and other highly questionable proposals nearly impervious to challenge. Other ASW proposals are approved though they involve horrendously inhumane killing methods even by whaling standards.

The joint US/Russian/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ASW proposal includes the killing of humpback whales and their calves in the Caribbean. The Greenland proposal allows aboriginal whales to continue selling their whale meat to the public in supermarkets. As part of our advocacy at the IWC, we will address the ample documentation of the lack of necessity and cruelty of these hunts.

In the Green Vegans delegation, there will be three of us who can provide a uniquely complimentary and insightful ability to address these issues. We have the experience and leeway to oppose aboriginal subsistence whaling as it exists today. While some organizations will oppose one or two instances, none are willing to vigorously oppose them all. While we have advocated for whales for a number of highly respected organizations, we founded Green Vegans in 2009 to introduce a new perspective to deep ecology environmentalism and species’ rights — including the ASW debate and other issues at IWC. Green Vegans has been accredited by the IWC to attend as observers. As such, we will have access to the member country delegations where we will lobby for their support for the protection of whales.

Our professional histories have demonstrated that as we advocate for the whales, we do so while consciously showing respect for people who will strongly disagree with us. Will, Tami, and Toni have worked many years on behalf of gray whales. Will Anderson had lived in Alaska for seven years, traveled to two of the ten whaling villages there, and campaigned against Arctic offshore oil drilling after he founded an office in Anchorage for a major international environmental organization. His three decades of nonprofit experience includes hands-on advocacy and campaigning in dozens of environmental and species rights campaigns for several other organizations. From his kayak, and under government permit, Will has recorded both the sounds and photo identifications of gray whales in their Mexican calving lagoons. He has worked to block the resumption of Makah whaling since 1996. Will continues to focus his interests on the larger questions of human ecology through Green Vegans / The New Human Ecology.

Tami Drake was a co-founder and International Director of Ocean Defense International and has worked on the Makah Whaling issue since 1999, lobbying in Washington D.C. and attending three IWC meetings specifically regarding ASW.  Tami also co-founded America’s Whale Alliance in 2005.  This coalition of over 80 US groups was founded by Ocean Defense International in response to the apparent change of direction of the US government regarding its opposition to the resumption of commercial whaling.  AWA’s unprecedented “Stop Whaling!” bus tour, garnered incredible support from West Coast residents. A 35-ft. long California municipal bus that was converted to run on bio-diesel was transformed into a whale bus by dedicated volunteers who worked tirelessly for weeks.

Toni Frohoff has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Biology, M.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences.  She has co-authored two books (“Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communications” (co-authored w/K. Dudzinski, Yale University Press 2008) & “Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond (w/Brenda Peterson (Sierra Club/UC Press 2003), and has contributed to over a dozen books on wildlife.