Commission compromises to protect sperm whale

The International Whaling Commission approved a compromise plan banning commercial killing of the dwindling sperm whale species in all but the North Pacific. Conservationists hailed the compromise as a victory, but admitted it was won at the expense of an increase in the catch quota for the Minke whale, the most abundant species and the mainstay of the Japanese whaling industry.

The 32-nation commission agreed to increase by more than 1,000 the quota for Minke whales, setting the 1982 worldwide total whale catch at just under 14, 100 compared with 14,523 this year.

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