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Day Three (afternoon) of IWC 2016

Agenda Item 10 Cetacean Habitat 10.1 State of Cetacean Environment (SOCER) The Chair of the IWC Scientific Committee, Caterina, highlights elements of the Franciscana Action Plan. The Committee recommends that the stabilisation of the Brazilian dam is urgent and highlighted the critical need to adopt knowledge from disasters, such as deep–water accidents and to share…

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Day Three (Morning) of IWC 2016

This is not a full script, as whilst some comments are verbatim, others are paraphrased, but we endeavour to capture the essence of what was said. The morning shift So back to it, and the Chairman is asking for progress from drafting groups. Japan opened the meeting rather aggressively in the view of this observer,…

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Day Two of IWC 2016

This is meant as a brief update on progress and hurdles this morning at IWC66 in Slovenia. We shall update when we get another gap between sessions. IWC66/09 South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary The day started badly for the whales when the Schedule Amendment that would have established the South Atlantic Sanctuary (#SAWS) was defeated with…

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Denmark: Wanting their whale and eating it

So Denmark has submitted its opening statement to the IWC and I guess the question is, have they learned their lesson since the last meeting? One reading of the statement would suggest that Denmark wants to ‘have their cake’, and, as the old saying goes, quite literally, ‘eat it’. I asked in a previous post…

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IWC Heroes and Villains

Since the early 1990s accusations have been levelled against the Government of Japan that it was linking its overseas development aid (ODA) to the recruitment of other nation states to support its campaign for a resumption of commercial whaling. Watching the voting patterns of the various Parties, a neutral observer new to the International Whaling…

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When is a whaling ban not a whaling ban?

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) biennial meeting is never a simple place to negotiate your way through. I had the privilege of attending several meetings during my WDC career, and the team we are sending this year will be some of our best brains.  And this year we need the team to be on top…

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How to ensure whaling becomes a family tradition

So what lies at the roots of whaling policy in Japan and Iceland? Is it some sense of national identity? Is it some true altruistic desire to feed their countrymen? Or is it something else? For many observers, the continued certainty of Iceland’s last few whalers’ desire to keep a dying whaling industry alive is,…

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Managing or Recovering Leviathan

Is it time to reframe the conversation? A recent article published in Oceanography by Dr. Phillip Clapham is entitled Managing Leviathan: Conservation challenges for the great whales in a post-whaling world.  In the article, Dr. Clapham reviews the history of modern whaling (i.e. industrial, commercial whaling) and its removal of nearly 3,000,000 whales in the 20th Century alone, reducing some…

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