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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Expands Marine Mammal Stranding Network Territory

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation team expands the Greater Atlantic Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network...
Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Dam Good News for Southern Resident orcas

Pardon the pun (we've used it before) but we just can't help ourselves.  After decades...
Peter Flood mom and calf

Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

For Immediate Release, November 1, 2022 WASHINGTON-Conservation groups filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Patricia Birnie – the movement loses a true hero

We can not hope to do justice to the life of Professor Patricia Birnie as well as some of her closest friends, such as Alan Boyle’s account of her life and work in the Guardian newspaper.

But we can just note that Pat was a hero to many of us involved in the anti-whaling movement. Her courtesy and small stature hid a formidable brain and sharp intelect.

She was approachable and unlike a lot of people who have reached the hight of their academic mountains, she was always willing to coach many of us IWC newbies in the early 1990s through to become at least proficient if not anywhere near as capable as she was.

She was courted by NGOs and Governments alike. Her memory and legal knowledge of the IWC was a massive boone to many an IWC Commissioner, new to their position and unskilled in its intractable processes and protocols. But if you had to argue against her she was razor sharp in her arguments and a formidable opponent. For many of us who have fought each devious attempt to overturn the commercial whaling  moratorium she was an ally we were always pleased to have on our side.

In these days when people seem to feint those who chase the TV ratings and the press of celebrity, the real heroes of the anti-whaling movement are hidden to many. When the record books come to be written about the history of the anti-whaling movement, Professor Pat Birnie’s name will be carved front and centre, – when many others will have long been forgotten.

Patricia Winifred Birnie, legal scholar and campaigner, born 17 November 1926; died 7 February 2013