IWC 60 day five: going, going… – June 27th 2008

Perhaps the most telling sign at the end of IWC 60 was that no-one wants to host the 2010 meeting. Usually, someone steps forward willingly, and quite often there is a competition. Last year, there were offers from Japan and Portugal, but Japan’s offer was withdrawn in response to what it perceived as unfair treatment, […]

IWC 60 day four: the war zone – June 26th 2008

It wasn’t difficult to discern by the end of yesterday that the fragile truce engineered by Chairman Hogarth was breaking down. This morning it shattered. The precipitating cause was Denmark’s request on behalf of Greenland to add 10 humpbacks per year, for the next 5 years, to its long list of large and small whales […]

IWC 60 day three: once more unto the breach – June 25th 2008

It wasn’t quite open warfare, but the third day of this Wonderland exercise in Santiago came close a couple of times. The consensus approach so dear to the heart of Chairman Hogarth never was a declared truce, more like a bunch of former but still active opponents standing around, uncomfortably, at a peace conference; neither […]

IWC 60 day two: a closed shop – June 24th 2008

The morning session of today’s IWC meeting in Santiago lasted all of 33 minutes. It was a perfect indicator of how things are going here. During that brief time, the Chair finished dealing with the most important item on this meeting’ s agenda – the future of the IWC. A document, circulated by hand to […]

IWC 60 day one: molasses moves faster – June 23rd 2008

This year’s IWC meeting got off to a start very much along the lines Chairman Hogarth predicted in his press conference yesterday – slowly. Amazingly, his attempt at convincing the polarized sides to at least be polite to one another seems to have succeeded – for the moment. Moreover, he seems to have achieved his […]

IWC 60: a price too high – June 22nd 2008

“Curiouser and curiouser” cried Alice as she watched her feet disappear from sight and wondered how she might ever get back to ground. That just about sums up my impression of the fantasy world I’ve entered down here in Santiago, Chile, the venue for the 60th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It’s the […]

Good orca news – June 14th 2008

Just a few hours after we sent our last report about the unsettling situation in Robson Bight, we received a very uplifting email from our colleagues at CetaceaLab ( on Gill Island – they had sighted the A30s the day before, and everyone was there!  This news comes as a great relief, as we had […]

Salvage delays – June 10th 2008

In mid May, after months of delay, British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment finally issued a Request for Proposals to salvage the diesel fuel tanker that has been lying at the bottom of Robson Bight since last August’s tragic barge accident.  Several proposals were received by the June 4th closing date, and are now being evaluated […]