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International 'Whale Sanctuary' Proposal Denied

- Common Dreams staff

A proposal to establish a 'whale sanctuary' in the South Atlantic Ocean was denied Monday at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting, BBC news reports.

The IWC is an international body set up to monitor the whaling industry. Proposals in the body require a three-quarters majority to pass, but this years sanctuary vote fell short at just over half of the votes: 38 votes in favor of the sanctuary and 21 against.

The proposed sanctuary would have covered nearly the entire Atlantic Ocean south of the Equator, from the west coast of Africa to the east coast of South America.

Latin American leaders lead the proposal. Marcos Pinta Gama, Brazil's commissioner to the IWC, said the sanctuary could have enabled better conservation of migratory species that are under threat around the world.

Jose Truda Palazzo, Brazil's non-governmental Cetacean Conservation Center, blamed nations that receive Japanese aid for killing the bid. "Japan doesn't want to give an inch on anything that may compromise their ability to roam the world doing whaling as they see fit," he stated.

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