The United States and other conservationist nations won a significant victory in their 10-year campaign to ban the commercial killing of whales.
A committee of the 38-nation International Whaling Commission passed by an unprecedented three-fourths majority vote a recommendation to prohibit all whale hunting. The issue is to be debated and voted on in the full commission later this week. Japan said it will continue to fight the ban, and proposed improved measures to conserve whale herds while allowing commercial hunting to continue. Japan, backed by the Soviet Union, warned that if a ban is imposed it will break up the commission, which would revive a worldwide free-for-all in whale-hunting.