Japanese proposal to reinstate commercial whaling defeated

SAO PAULO (AP) — Members of the International Whaling Commission have defeated a Japanese proposal to reinstate commercial whaling.

The commission suspended commercial whaling in the 1980s. But Japan argues that stocks have recovered sufficiently for the ban to be lifted.

Countries that support the ban argue that many populations are still vulnerable and whaling is unacceptable.

Twenty-seven countries backed Japan's proposal at the meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil, on Friday; 41 opposed.

The proposal also included rule changes reducing the number of votes needed to pass many measures.

People in Japan have killed whales for centuries as a traditionally cheaper source of protein. They currently hunt under a provision that allows killing for research purposes.

But in recent years they have hauled in less partly because demand for whale meat has fallen.