Union boss supports whale hunt
ONE of Australia's most powerful labour figures, Paddy Crumlin of the Maritime Union, is leading an international call for a resumption of commercial whaling.
ONE of Australia's most powerful labour figures, Paddy Crumlin of the Maritime Union, is leading an international call for a resumption of commercial whaling.Mr Crumlin, president of the 4 million-strong International Transport Workers Federation, has co-signed a statement of ITF support for a "sustainable" hunt.Despite opposition to whaling in many developed nations, including Australia, the ITF under Mr Crumlin retains a 17-year-old policy line in the statement to an upcoming annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission."We are hoping that the IWC can fulfil its core mandate and purpose, and adopt a mutually acceptable agreement including setting up commercial quotas, with due account of the whale stocks in line with [an] ecosystem approach to fisheries management," the statement said.Greenpeace said the union's policy advocated controlling marine mammals in order to keep the marine ecosystem in equilibrium, simply repeating whaling industry propaganda. "Blaming whales for decreasing fish catches is like blaming woodpeckers for deforestation," said Greenpeace International whales campaigner John Frizell.Mr Crumlin did not respond to requests for comment, but an ITF spokesman said the policy was reviewed every two years by the union's Fisheries Section.The Japanese government, preoccupied with the aftermath of the March 11 tsunami, is yet to say whether its whalers will return to the Antarctic after they were driven out under conservationist pressure in February.