"The chairman of the International Whaling Commission offered a compromise proposal Thursday that would authorize commercial hunting for the first time in a quarter-century in exchange for reducing the number of whales killed each year.
A global whaling moratorium took effect in 1986 but three nations -- Japan, Norway and Iceland -- have continued hunting whales in spite of it, killing roughly 1,700 annually in recent years. The U.S. and other anti-whaling countries have sought to strike a deal that would create an international monitoring system to ensure a steadily-declining whale hunt.
Under the new proposal, whalers initially would be permitted to take 400 Antarctic minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere, an area that includes the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary, and that number would fall to 200 over the next decade. Also in the Southern Hemisphere, the number of fin whales that could be taken would start at 10 and decrease to five during the same period."