Commercial whaling ban still in force

The International Whaling Commission passed a resolution, affirming a 21-year ban on commercial whaling remains in place. Still, some relatively minor changes have occurred in permitted whaling.

So Greenland's minke whale catch limits will increase to 200 in the five-year period ending in 2012  in order to ensure the population has sufficient food supply.

The Committee is also expected to vote on a Japanese proposal – which seeks to allow four of its coastal villages to catch minke whales. Japan explains whaling has been part of its communities' culture for thousands of years.

The passage of the proposal would in effect lift a 1986 ban on commercial whaling, which is responsible for saving the Earth's largest creatures from extinction.

There are estimated 180,000 minke's whales in Atlantic, with another 700,000 around Antarctica.