Thursday, 10 June 2010

Makerfield Constituency MP Yvonne Fovargue strikes a ‘whale tail’ pose and calls for greater protection for whales

Yvonne Fovargue MP has shown her support for whales by striking a ‘whale tail’ pose with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Yvonne is taking part in IFAW’s ‘Tails for Whales’ online photo petition, which raises awareness of the need for greater whale protection. IFAW is encouraging people from all walks of life to be photographed making the whale tail hands symbol. Model and presenter Twiggy and comedienne Jo Brand are among celebrities taking part and this week almost 40 MPs also struck a whale tail pose for whales.

IFAW works year-round to protect whales from the many threats they face including commercial whaling, ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, pollution, climate change and man-made ocean noise.

The worldwide ban on commercial whaling is currently under threat with a compromise deal due to be discussed at the next International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Agadir, Morocco, later this month. If passed, the deal would legitimise commercial whaling for the first time in more than 20 years.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW said, “We are very grateful to Yvonne Fovargue for showing her support for whales at such a critical time. IFAW opposes commercial or so-called ‘scientific’ whaling because it is cruel and unnecessary and we believe these magnificent and intelligent creatures should be protected for future generations to enjoy. Support for this project demonstrates that many people feel the same.”

“I am pleased to be taking part in ‘Tails for Whales’, says Yvonne. She added, "Whales face more threats today than ever before and this project sends out a positive message that we should all be working to protect the ban on whaling and safeguard whale populations. I encourage my constituents to take part by submitting their photos for inclusion.”

Whale tail images can be uploaded to the website (JPEG format, minimum 1024x768pix). Please take part and email your friends and family asking them to do the same.

The aim is to collect as many of these positive images as possible on the website, particularly in the run-up to the next meeting of the IWC, to urge all member countries to use their votes to protect, not weaken, the worldwide ban on commercial whaling.

Despite a worldwide ban on commercial whaling coming into effect in 1986, more than 30,000 whales have been killed for commercial reasons since that time.

Japan hunts whales under a loophole for so-called “scientific” whaling, which IFAW believes is really commercial whaling by another name. Iceland has killed whales both commercially and under the “scientific” clause and Norway has continued to hunt commercially under an objection to the ban.