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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have killed at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

Spy-hopping: leaked document reveals Intelligence agencies involvement in whaling meeting

The meetings of the International Whaling Commission undoubtedly generate passionate debate from all sides, but “exciting” is probably not a term you would usually use to describe the proceedings.

However, a leaked document published on the Intercept website from whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveals that US officials attending an IWC meeting in May 2007 in Anchorage were supported by the US National Security Agency (NSA). One of the agency’s representatives was working with local colleagues to collate information gathered by counterparts from New Zealand on Japan’s lobbying efforts with countries that might support its position on various whaling issues ahead of votes later in the week. A selection of delegates from the US, New Zealand and Australia met to be presented with the findings each day.

While it is unclear exactly what information was passed to these delegates and how it was used, Japan ultimately failed in its attempt to get any exemptions from the ongoing moratorium at the meeting. The document concludes: “Was the outcome worth the effort? The Australian, New Zealand, and American delegates would all say ‘yes’. I believe the whales would concur”.