IWC day four: so the band plays on – June 25th 2009

This 61st meeting of the International Whaling Commission began with a wonderful medley from Madeira’s Mandolin Orchestra, the oldest such in Europe.  It brought back memories of a former time when families sat around the radio, imagining themselves stepping off a train into a crowded street where music played and people danced in each others […]

IWC day three: on the edge – June 24th 2009

It became clear today that this 61st meeting of the IWC has only one substantive item on its agenda, Greenland’s attempt to obtain the Commission’s approval for killing humpback whales.  Just before the afternoon session closed (it was running an hour late) Denmark announced that its request on behalf of Greenland was being reduced from […]

IWC Day Two: Greenland humpbacks: to kill or not – June 23rd 2009

The morning session of IWC 61 (’09) Day Two was taken up by discussion of the “future” of the IWC, and the need to continue Chairman Hogarth’s efforts to resolve the deadlock that has arisen in negotiations, i.e. the failure of wishful thinking.  The meeting was presented with a draft document titled “Consensus resolution on […]

Under the volcano – June 22 2009

This year’s meeting of the international Whaling Commission (IWC) is its 61st, and is being held in Portugal’s Atlantic island paradise of Madeira.  There, starting today, delegations from more than 80 countries are once again gathered to debate and determine the fate of whales.  It seems oddly appropriate that the meeting is being held in […]

An auspicious beginning – June 21st 2009

The summer orca “season” in Johnstone Strait began on June 19th with a marvelous visit by Simoom’s “A34” family.  We first heard them just after they entered Johnstone Strait, via Weynton Pass, at 12:25pm, after which they headed east casually, spread out.  When they were first sighted, off Big Bay on Hanson Island, by Jim […]