Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister and Minister of Marine Resources, has participated in a series of meetings organized By the Institute of Cetacean Research in Japan and the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Miami. The meetings have been considering a variety of matters of which the most important was the future of the IWC. There are very intense negotiations underway to bring a revitalized and reconstituted IWC to the fore, constructively engaging with both the conservation and sustainable management of cetacean resources. “These meetings assisted me in garnering a better understanding of the role of the IWC as a foremost international body responsible for the sustainable management of whale resources and the range of other issues to do with our marine resources and how international developments are likely to impact us here, not just as a proponent of the sustainable use of marine resources but also as a country now investing in marine parks: dolphins and sea lions for recreational purposes and also marine protected areas. Our membership in IWC will put us in the avant-garde to participate and defend our national interests as discussions relating to sensitive topics of protocols in relation to animals in captivity, marine parks, etc.” said Senior Minister Harris. While IWC is best known as a whaling organization, it treats with more than whales and whaling, other species such as dolphins, and small cetacean are of concern to the IWC. IWC is also concerned with whale sanctuaries which can impact other fisheries such as tuna and other activities such as marine transportation, oil and gas explorations and the the harnessing of geothermal energy. The efforts to restructure the IWC should lead to a new programme of cooperation between the IWC members. The new cooperation proposal is embody in Appendix E of a paper put forward By St Kitts and now endorsed By the Small Working Group. St Kitts and Nevis is one of the thirty four members of the Small Working Group (SWG) and also one of the twelve members of the Support Group. This support group provides advice to the Chair.
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