Stumbling towards the finish line

IWC 2012 Day Four Helena wanted me to call this piece “the only thing wrong with the IWC is whaling” but it seemed a bit long and I already had the above thought in my head.  Just the same, she does have a point.  There is so much good work being done, and great people […]

Bungling the future of whales

IWC 2012 Day Two It turned out I was wrong on just about every count yesterday.  First, about the weather.  Today, it rained at 2pm, not 4pm as I had stated.  True, it did come as an unreal downpour as we skirted the pool under shelter after lunch.  When we got to the room the […]

IWC 2011 Day Three: moving molasses

It has been a very long time since I could end a day at an IWC meeting reporting something positive, apart from the camaraderie that accompanies these annual excursions into the world of real whale politik, as seen through the eyes of the vanishing breed called whalers, and newly minted whale lovers.  For about as […]

IWC 2011 Day Two: time wasting

It didn’t take long this morning, for the slightly rosy glow at the end of yesterday to vanish.  The morning session was supposed to open with the report of the Finance and Administration Committee, but Japan managed to have the “Safety at Sea” agenda item moved forward.  As a result, the first part of the […]

IWC 2011 Day One: the same old lines

Jersey is a pleasant and friendly place of about 100,000 souls, close enough to France to have more than a sprinkling of French names for streets, and close enough to England to have the familiar sound of cheerful English voices warbling out of pubs and cafes. Outside the city of St Heliers, green fields surrounded […]

May there be Light: IWC 2011 opening thoughts

May there be Light: IWC 2011 opening thoughts Our work with whales ranges from the joyous to the patient to the intolerable.  The latter, intolerable, is a comment about numerous violations of fairness and reason on our blue planet, but here in particular about the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which was established in 1946 as […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 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 […]