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 60 wrapup: back to the future – July 4th 2008

More than 500 people from 76 countries attended the 60th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Santiago, Chile.  Of these, 316 were members of delegations, 161 were observers and 103 were media representatives. As a planet burning exercise (in accumulating air miles) it was no doubt a great success, but as a […]

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 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 […]