"Funchal, Portugal -- International Whaling Commission members agreed Wednesday to extend negotiations over the disputed hunting of the marine mammals for a year, avoiding a disastrous split in the group.
Spokeswoman Jemma Miller said the IWC, which regulates world whaling between hunters and conservationists, recognised that it 'is at a crossroads beset by fundamental disagreements as to its nature and purpose.'
By consensus the 85-nation IWC agreed to reconstitute a working group set up last year which would 'intensify its efforts to conclude a package or packages' by the 2010 IWC conference 'at the latest,' Miller said at the meeting held on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
IWC chairman William Hogarth supported the call for more consultations."
AFP had the story June 24, 2009.