In a letter to Caribbean Net News, a resident of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (the only country in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) that has a substantial whaling tradition, and that still practices any kind of whaling) summarises that nation’s whaling history and expresses his views on the continuation of traditional whaling in Bequia and the possible resumption of commercial whaling worldwide:
[W]hile St Vincent and the Grenadines may have cultivated a tradition of whale hunting that was once justifiable to the economic circumstances of the day, we would have to be concerned about how our country will be viewed in its continuance of our whale hunting activities in Bequia; both in light of current international circumstances and the fact that Bequia is no longer dependent on subsistence whaling.
Be that as it may, the whaling activities in Bequia are in direct conflict with any serious thrust in developing St Vincent and the Grenadines as an Eco tourism destination.
Furthermore, consideration must be given to the fact that future economic sustainability depends very much on our ability to utilize our natural resources to sustainably provide livelihood opportunities for our nation’s people. This also involves being able to maintain the quality of the nation’s biodiversity; a critical issue that most Vincentions are not being educated about in terms of its generation of livelihood opportunities and significant economic potential.
In any event and however our Government chooses to vote at the IWC meeting, our whaling hunting tradition will eventually come to an end. Hopefully this would come as a matter of choice before the Japanese are successful at causing the extinction all whale species and other marine resources. Thereby, we might still have the opportunity at cultivating alternative livelihoods through whale watching and other sustainable marine activities.
Read more at Caribbean Net News.