IWC66 postscript

  Postscript Beating the drum Sidney Holt’s book Save the Whale! Memoirs of a whale hugger may not yet be a best seller (it will be) but it encourages me to believe that we (the whales) will win. Win what? The privilege of spending the next generation, hundreds, thousands of years swimming around in a […]

IWC 66 Day Five

IWC 66 Day Five The sands of time Day Five of this meeting was devoted to Finance and Administration, a normally pedestrian subject, but one that produced unexpected drama. The resolution on providing assistance to countries with limited means came back to the floor in a form that didn’t please a large number of delegations, […]

IWC 66 Day Four

IWC 66 Day Four Back down the rabbit hole This all very familiar, and so so strange. The last time the International Whaling Commission met, the plenary proceedings took 4 days. Afterwards, the Secretariat sent around a survey asking for suggestions about how to make things better. A common response was to add a day, […]

IWC 66 Day Three

IWC 66 Day Three Going going The morning of this day was all about numbers. Some sounded pretty good, like the recovery of southern hemisphere humpback whales to 70% of their “carrying capacity”. I’m not sure whether “carrying capacity” refers to the original population size before the wanton slaughter began, or to the ability of […]

IWC 66 Day Two

A blast from the past And a rude awakening Sidney Holt has saved more whales than anyone. It’s a bland but totally true statement. Were it not for Sidney, the blue whale would probably be gone from the face of the Earth. Extinct. Fin and humpback whales would not be far behind. Hundreds of thousands […]

IWC 66 Day One

IWC 66 Day One Once more Ever since the International Whaling Commission moved to biennial meetings, the drama that was played out every year for decades has diminished in intensity, but it is still there. This year’s meeting is in Portoroz, Slovenia, the same venue as last time. Everyone liked it so much they decided […]

The blocking minority

IWC 2014 Day Four Several pertinent comments were made during the rush to complete the agenda of IWC 65 before delegates headed for the exit. My favourite is one Antigua and Barbuda’s Commissioner Daven Joseph made after Japan once again failed to obtain a “small type coastal whaling” quota. Bluntly stating there was no way […]

The fine art of holding one’s nose

IWC 2014 Day Three There was some good news today. The “Safety at Sea” agenda item, which Japan routinely uses to bash Sea Shepherd and hitherto Greenpeace for opposing its “research” activities in the Antarctic, was dealt with in just 34 minutes. We’re accustomed to it dragging on for hours, staving off sleep in a […]

The sound of silence

  IWC 2014 Day Two Day Two of IWC 65 began with a downsweep, quite possibly because last night’s reception, hosted by the government of Slovenia was long and indulgent, great fun but with consequences that crept into the room this morning.  Thought seemed slower, and after the ASW (Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling) agenda item was […]

Two thumbs down

IWC 2014 Day One The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission, being held in fairytale seaside surroundings in Portoroz, Slovenia, began pretty much where the last meeting in Panama left off, with the issue of Greenland’s request to kill whales for “aboriginal” consumption. Readers who have followed the IWC story will recall that Greenland […]