Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Whales are safe. At least until next year.

The ban on commercial whaling would not be lifted. This is the main result of the International Whaling Commission meeting held in Sorrento, Italy. Commission members have decided that more discussion is needed before it would be possible to lift the moratorium.

"We have derailed a runaway train toward the resumption of commercial whaling," said Sue Lieberman of conservation group WWF, informs Voice of America.

Campaigners and anti-whaling countries spent the week in a state of anxiety over a proposal from IWC Chairman Henrik Fischer for a system to monitor whale catches and ensure states stick to their quotas in any return to large-scale hunting.

According to Reuters, whaling nations Japan, Norway and Iceland say such a scheme would automatically lift the ban, no longer needed as many whale species do not face extinction.

Japanese delegates left the meeting sorely disappointed after the IWC rejected a deadline to agree the scheme at its next annual meeting, in Pusan, South Korea, next June.

"Those who seek to deny the legitimate cultural right of nations to resume harvesting of abundant whales for food only provide the incentive for us to look outside the IWC to achieve our goals," Japan's whaling commissioner Minoru Morimoto said.