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Gore's response to whaling flap

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  • Dian Hardy
    SEA SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2000 GORE DEFENSE OF U.S. POSITION ON WHALING DOES NOT CONVINCE Response to Sea Shepherd omits
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2000
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      SEA SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
      June 30, 2000

      GORE DEFENSE OF U.S. POSITION ON WHALING DOES NOT CONVINCE
      Response to Sea Shepherd omits details on next week's crucial IWC vote

      The Gore 2000 Campaign has disavowed yesterday's statements to whale
      activists that indicated the United States would approve the attempt to
      ratify the "Revised Management Scheme," overturning the global ban on
      commercial whale hunting. A Gore campaign worker had told a Washington State
      activist that the Vice President would be in favor of eliminating the global
      ban so that whaling activities could be 'better regulated.' The
      International Whaling Commission is meeting in Adelaide, Australia, next
      week to deliberate on the state of current protections for whales, which are
      coming under increasing pressure worldwide.

      In a statement sent to Sea Shepherd International today, Gore said "I
      strongly support the international ban on commercial whaling," and
      maintained that he was "a leading advocate in the creation of landmark
      sanctuary protections for whales under the IWC. As President, I will
      continue to advocate new sanctuary protections under that body."

      The statements the Gore campaign now disavows as unofficial and unauthorized
      closely echoed the recent sentiments of IWC Secretary Ray Gambell, who urged
      removal of the ban in favor of expanded "regulated" commercial whaling in a
      June 12 BBC interview.

      In an October 5, 1993, memo to the Prime Minister of Norway, Gore promised
      "We are willing to join you in working in good faith within the IWC to
      complete all aspects of the Revised Management Scheme in 1994." Gore secured
      provisional adoption of the hunt protocol at the May 1994 meeting of the
      IWC, creating a furor in the environmental community.

      "The Vice President's support for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994
      was a quid pro quo deal that appeased Norway, avoided mandated sanctions for
      their ongoing whale kills, and didn't protect any whales," said Sea Shepherd
      President Paul Watson. "Mr. Gore's statement today had nothing to say on the
      main point we asked him to clarify - the U.S. position on the Revised
      Management Scheme - and his record is not encouraging."

      "Al Gore's statement is a fluffy way of saying the Clinton/Gore
      Administration will continue to work to undo 30 years of conservation
      efforts, as it has been doing since they took office," said U.S. Citizens
      Against Whaling founder Sandra Abels, who spoke with the Gore 2000 campaign
      on Thursday. "Actions count, and we have seen nothing from Mr. Gore to
      counter his campaign worker's statement to me that there are plenty of
      whales out there for the killing."

      Gore recently served as the Administration's champion for the revived gray
      whale hunt of Washington's Makah Indian tribe, claiming the tribe has a
      "subsistence need" for whale meat, which the IWC has refused to recognize.
      Earlier this month, an appeals court found the federal government's approval
      of the Makah hunt to be in violation of the National Environmental Policy
      Act due to probable bias and ordered the preparation of a new Environmental
      Assessment.

      "We are receiving reports from this week's preliminary IWC committee
      meetings that the delegations are under heavy pressure from the United
      States and are being instructed to 'sit on their hands' rather than cite the
      U.S. for unilaterally permitting the Makah whale hunt," said Sea Shepherd
      Information Director Andrew Christie. "We don't need to know what Mr. Gore
      promises to do to protect the whales if he's elected President; we need to
      know what he's going to do next Monday."

      The International Whaling Commission will meet in full session July 3 - 6.

      #

      CONTACT:
      Andrew Christie, SSI 360-370-5500
      Mark Messenbaugh, Gore 2000 Inc. 615-340-3279
      Sandra Abels, USCAW 206-361-0736



      Al Gore's statement on whaling:

      I strongly support the international ban on commercial whaling in the IWC.
      I am pleased that, thanks in part to the leadership of the Clinton-Gore
      Administration, we were able to defeat "back door" efforts by other nations
      (e.g. Norway and Japan) at the April 10-20, 2000 meeting of the Convention
      for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to resume commercial
      whaling by removing protections for whales in the CITES. You have my
      commitment that, as President, I will fight to maintain the ban on
      commercial whaling, and to block any effort to decrease protections for
      whale species protected by the CITES. I will also continue to fight
      against any efforts by Japan and others to expand "lethal research" whaling
      under the scientific research loophole in the IWC.

      I would also point out that I was a leading advocate in the creation of
      landmark sanctuary protections for whales under the IWC. As President, I
      will continue to advocate new sanctuary protections under that body.


      Paid for by Gore 2000, Inc., Nashville, TN 37203.
      Contributions to Gore 2000, Inc. are not tax deductible for Federal income
      tax purposes.



      Sea Shepherd International
      P.O. Box 2616
      Friday Harbor, WA 98250
      (360) 370-5500
      http://www.seashepherd.org
      seashepherd@...
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