Wanted: pro-whaling countries. No ocean required.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier this week that Eritrea is to join the International Whaling Commission.

By way of background, “Eritrea is a single-party state accused by neighbouring Ethiopia this month of training and arming terrorists. It is ranked 157th out of 177 nations in the UN Human Development Index and 126th on Transparency International’s Global Corruption Index.”

What a glowing CV that is.

It is no great secret that Japan ‘buys’ votes at the International Whaling Commission like Russell Crowe buys pies – frequently, and in large amounts. It’s also no surprise that a country as poor and corrupt as Eritrea is flinging itself at Japan. But I’m going to leave aside Eritrea and the other new kid, Tanzania. Equally I am going to ignore Gabon, Kiribati, Oman, Belize, Cameroon, Togo, Benin and the Cote d’Ivoire and the dozens of others on the IWC who would not recognise a whale if they saw one, and if they did they would try and eat it.

At least though they actually have ocean. At first glance, I reckon the following countries might have something to answer for. No points for guessing what they have in common:

  • Slovakia
  • Mongolia
  • Switzerland
  • Mali
  • Laos
  • Austria
  • Luxembourg
  • Democratic Republic of Congo

Yep. they’re landlocked. No ocean. Surrounded by land. Without sea. Just dirt. No straits, peninsulas or isthmuses. You get my meaning. What the hell does Mongolia know or care about whales? Or Mali. Hardly synonymous with whales, for or against. In Austria if they saw a whale they’d just try and ski it. (Or vote for it, but only if it was a right-wing whale.)

Get landlocked countries out of the IWC. Next thing you know George Bush will be telling us that countries with no armed forces are part of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ who invaded Iraq.

I’m looking at you, Marshall Islands.

Killer whales frolic in a lake in the Swiss Alps

Killer whales frolic in a lake in the Swiss Alps

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