After the ban, whaling continues

A minke whale is butchered on the deck of a ship

Commercial whaling was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the body responsible for managing whaling.

The IWC regulates the whaling industry and acts to conserve whale populations. The ban was introduced because some species were in danger of being wiped out.

The IWC has over 70 member countries, including the UK. But two member nations – Norway and Iceland – have lodged objections to the ban which allow them to whale commercially.

Another member, Japan, continues to hunt whales under the guise of ‘scientific research’.

WSPA wants the IWC to maintain the whaling ban to protect the welfare of the world’s whales.

Why do some countries still hunt whales?

Norway and Japan will kill around 2,500 whales this year. Some will die instantly but many hundreds will suffer long and inhumane deaths.

Their meat and blubber is processed for human consumption. Other parts of the whale are turned into pet food, animal feed or simply thrown away.

  • Norway currently (2008) allows 1,052 minke whales to be hunted commercially for meat each year. Norway has killed over 8,100 whales since the whaling ban began.
  • Japan currently (2008) kills 1,415 great whales from six species each year, for ‘scientific research’. The IWC has condemned this as unnecessary and called on Japan to stop their hunts in over 20 separate Resolutions.

Change is possible

Whaling nations care about how the rest of the world sees them and do bow to international pressure.

Iceland killed 200 minke whales between 2003 and 2007 for ‘scientific’ purposes, and issued a commercial quota of 39 whales – including nine fin whales, the second largest animal on the planet – in October 2006.

However WSPA is pleased to see no quota for commercial whaling has been issued by Iceland in 2008. The country also has no plans to continue their lethal ‘scientific’ experiments.

Working with the IWC

IWC members meet every year. WSPA uses diplomacy, education and public campaigning to raise whale welfare up the agenda. 

Your support is helping us show whaling nations and the IWC that whale welfare is important to the public.

Help WSPA consign whaling to the history books –take action against whaling.

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