The Convention on International Trade in Endanger Species (CITES) this month rejected a request by Japan to remove minke whales from the CITES Appendix I list of threatened species in which international trade is prohibited.
Japan had filed an appeal with CITES seeking to have minke whales moved to the CITES Appending II, in which highly regulated trade of an endangered species is permitted.
In a news conference, CITES secretary general Willem Wijnstekers said that the proper place to take up whale-related issues was the International Whaling Commission and that as long as the IWC’s ban on commercial whaling remains in place, so will the Appendix I listing of whales.
As long as the International Whaling Commission maintains a zero-catch quota for commercial reasons in its management of minke whales, then the best way to coordinate that level of protection within CITES is by maintaining the species in appendix I.
CITES rejects Japanese call for partial end to ban on whale trade. Agence-France Presse, June 14, 2004.