IWC 2011: afterthoughts – back to the brink

  One would never have known it, observing the celebratory scene in the room after the close of business on Day Four of IWC 63, as old friends and enemies said goodbye to one another for yet another year, but the International Whaling Commission passed through a watershed in Jersey.  I was so stunned and […]

IWC 62 wrap-up: a bullet dodged

This year’s 62nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission, held in Agadir Morocco, will go down as a failed attempt to restart legally sanctioned commercial whaling.  The attempt occurred under the banner of saving some whales’ lives, and bringing some of the worst aspects of present-day whaling under IWC control.  Had the “deal” been agreed […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 St Kitts wrapup – June 22nd 2006

IWC St Kitts wrapup A Wakeup Call Pro-whale forces left the 58th meeting of the International Whaling Commission in St. Kitts bloodied but not beaten. It wasn’t exactly like dodging a bullet, but things didn’t turn out as badly for whales as many thought would happen. Japan, which has invested hundreds of millions of USD […]

A sea of change for whales? – June 15th 2006

IWC 58: A sea change for whales? Lush, tropical, beautiful, the Caribbean island of St. Kitts is the host of IWC 58, the 2006 meeting of the International Whaling Commission. The federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is one of 6 Caribbean nations which have collectively received a total of over $100 million US in […]

Japan loses round one – June 16th 2006

IWC St Kitts Day One Japan loses round one Day One at St. Kitts began with an opening ceremony in which a priest exhorted God to punish Satanists who believe whales should be protected; a fervent appeal to Spirits; energetic music from an island band; a hastily corrected reference to “The International Whalers Commission”; and […]