Text: H.Con.Res.216 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/12/2003)

[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 216 Introduced in House (IH)]

  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 216

Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the policy of the United 
    States at the 55th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling 



                             June 12, 2003

    Mr. Delahunt (for himself, Mr. Gilchrest, Mr. George Miller of 
   California, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mr. Farr, Mr. Greenwood, Mr. 
    Allen, and Mr. Abercrombie) submitted the following concurrent 
   resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International 


                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the policy of the United 
    States at the 55th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling 

Whereas whales have very low reproductive rates, making whale populations 
        extremely vulnerable to pressure from commercial whaling;
Whereas whales migrate throughout the world's oceans and international 
        cooperation is required to successfully conserve and protect whale 
Whereas in 1946 a significant number of the nations of the world adopted the 
        International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which 
        established the International Whaling Commission to provide for the 
        proper conservation of whale stocks;
Whereas the Commission adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982 in 
        order to conserve and promote the recovery of whale stocks, many of 
        which had been hunted to near extinction by the commercial whaling 
Whereas the Commission has designated the Indian Ocean and the ocean waters 
        around Antarctica as whale sanctuaries to further enhance the recovery 
        of whale stocks;
Whereas many nations of the world have designated waters under their 
        jurisdiction as whale sanctuaries where commercial whaling is 
        prohibited, and additional regional whale sanctuaries have been proposed 
        by nations that are members of the Commission;
Whereas one nation has joined the Commission under questionable authority and 
        claims it has a reservation to the moratorium that is not recognized by 
        all other Commission members;
Whereas two member nations currently have reservations to the Commission's 
        moratorium on commercial whaling, and one member nation is currently 
        conducting commercial whaling operations in spite of the moratorium and 
        the protests of other nations;
Whereas the Commission has adopted several resolutions at recent meetings asking 
        member nations to halt commercial whaling activities conducted under 
        reservation to the moratorium and to refrain from issuing special 
        permits for research involving the killing of whales;
Whereas one member nation of the Commission has taken a reservation to the 
        Commission's Southern Ocean Sanctuary and also continues to conduct 
        unnecessary lethal scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean and in the 
        North Pacific Ocean;
Whereas whale meat and blubber are being sold commercially from whales killed 
        pursuant to such unnecessary lethal scientific whaling, further 
        undermining the moratorium on commercial whaling;
Whereas the Commission's Scientific Committee has repeatedly expressed serious 
        concerns about the scientific need for such lethal research and 
        recognizes the importance of demonstrating and expanding the use of non-
        lethal scientific research methods;
Whereas one member nation in the past unsuccessfully sought an exemption 
        allowing commercial whaling of up to 50 minke whales, now uses a 
        scientific permit for these same vessels to take 50 minke whales, and 
        continues to seek avenues to allow lethal takes of whales by vessels 
        from specific communities in a manner that would undermine the 
        moratorium on commercial whaling;
Whereas more than 7,500 whales have been killed in lethal scientific whaling 
        programs since the adoption of the commercial whaling moratorium and the 
        lethal take of whales under scientific permits has increased both in 
        quantity and species, with species now including minke, Bryde's, sei, 
        and sperm whales, and a new proposal has been offered to include fin 
        whales for the first time;
Whereas the first international trade of whale meat in 15 years occurred last 
        year between two member countries, and other member countries have 
        stated their intentions to engage in international trade of whale 
        products, despite a ban on such trade under the Convention on 
        International Trade in Endangered Species; and
Whereas engaging in commercial whaling under reservation and lethal scientific 
        whaling undermines the conservation program of the Commission: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That it is the sense of the Congress that--
            (1) at the 55th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling 
        Commission the United States should--
                    (A) remain firmly opposed to commercial whaling;
                    (B) initiate and support efforts to ensure that all 
                activities conducted under reservations to the 
                Commission's moratorium or sanctuaries are ceased;
                    (C) not recognize the reservation to the moratorium 
                against commercial whaling claimed by one nation that 
                has joined the Commission under questionable authority;
                    (D) oppose the lethal taking of whales for 
                scientific purposes unless such lethal taking is 
                specifically authorized by the Scientific Committee of 
                the Commission to be necessary for scientific purposes, 
                seek support for expanding the use of non-lethal 
                research methods, and seek to end the sale of whale 
                meat and blubber from whales killed for unnecessary 
                lethal scientific research;
                    (E) seek the Commission's support for specific 
                efforts by member nations to end trade in whale meat;
                    (F) support the permanent protection of whale 
                populations through the establishment of whale 
                sanctuaries in which commercial whaling is prohibited; 
                    (G) support efforts to expand data collection on 
                whale populations, monitor and reduce whale bycatch and 
                other incidental impacts, create a Conservation 
                Committee, and otherwise expand whale conservation 
            (2) at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention 
        on International Trade in Endangered Species, the United States 
        should oppose all efforts to reopen international trade in 
        whale meat or downlist any whale population;
            (3) the United States should make full use of all 
        appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, relevant international laws 
        and agreements, and other appropriate mechanisms to implement 
        the goals set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2); and
            (4) if the Secretary of Commerce certifies to the 
        President, under section 8(a)(2) of the Fishermen's Protective 
        Act of 1967 (22 U.S.C. 1978(a)(2)), that nationals of a foreign 
        country are engaging in trade or a taking which diminishes the 
        effectiveness of the Convention, then the United States should 
        take appropriate steps at its disposal pursuant to Federal law 
        to convince such foreign country to cease such trade or taking.