It isn’t over

There was a palpable sense of relief today, at 6:43pm, when the 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission finally adjourned.  There was no decision about a venue for the next meeting.  It has been a long and difficult road.  This is not to say that Morocco, Agadir, the beach, the promenade, the sunset, […]

Setting back a cause

Today, in handing Denmark and Greenland the victory it sought – the right to kill 27 humpback whales over the next 3 years – the IWC has inflicted a serious blow to the cause of indigenous people around the world.  No-one at this meeting doubts that indigenous people have been oppressed for far too long, […]

The Damocles effect

The feeling in the room this morning was perceptibly lighter than earlier this week.  It wasn’t just me, I checked around, and others felt it too.  Yesterday’s decision to abandon the attempt to toss the moratorium into history produced a ripple that reached not just the diehard whale savers, but the wafflers and even those […]

Over the moon

This day ended with a reception hosted by Australia for the purpose of explaining the non-lethal scientific programme it is engaged in with other Southern Hemisphere countries.  The research is wide-ranging, creative in the technology it uses, and very costly.  Developing acoustic techniques for tracking and counting blue whales is an example.  It’s exciting science, […]

Darkness and light

It may turn out that the decision of Chairman Livingstone to take the meeting behind closed doors for 2 days of “negotiations” was a strategic error.  The (mostly) men who emerge at coffee breaks from the room they are closeted in are invariably clad in dark clothes, far too dark for this friendly climate, and […]

The stalling ground

Day one of this year’s IWC meeting lasted a scant 2 hours, including the opening entertainment and a long coffee break – at least, the part of it that was open to media and NGOs.  The rest of the day was spent behind closed doors, in private discussions intended to bring the parties to a […]

Once more unto the breach

There’s a déjà vu quality to the scene that surrounds the days before the opening of this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).   It happens to be in Agadir, Morocco, and like other venues of late, a casino is next door, so a rolling of the dice analogy comes easily to mind. […]

A crucial meeting of the International Whaling Commission

This year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is shaping up as the most crucial in the history of the organisation, which was formed in 1946, and tasked with the role of protecting both whales and the whaling industry.  In the years since 1946, the Commission has seen some species of great whales pushed […]


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