St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is one of the last few remaining countries in the 21st Century hunting whales and dolphins. Whalers from a grenadine island named Bequia have been granted a quota of four Humpback whales per year by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) under the guise of aboriginal subsistence, and fishermen from a small town called Barrouallie on St. Vincent’s leeward coast routinely and indiscriminately hunt hundreds of dolphins using speedboats with mounted harpoon cannons donated by the Japanese government.
Whaling began in 1875 when a Scottish settler named William Wallace returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines after working on an American whaling ship. He and his business partner, a French settler named Joseph Olivierre, built the first whaling station on the island of Bequia. In 1981, SVG joined the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and was granted a “subsistence quota” for Humpback whales despite the fact that the country fails to meet the criteria for Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling.
Vincentian whalers are the descendants of African and European immigrants and are therefore unarguably not indigenous to these islands. The real aboriginal occupants of SVG were the Amerindian tribes originally from the Amazon known as the Caribs and Arawaks, who settled the Caribbean islands thousands of years before the arrival of Christopher Colombus in the late 14th Century. Even if the whalers were, in fact, the descendants of Amerindians, it wouldn’t make difference because they do not have any history of whaling whatsoever.
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Company No. 09 of 2016 | St. Vincent & the Grenadines
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