Distant sounds of thunder

  IWC 2012 Day One One of the great things about Panama is the predictability of the weather.  When we got here, about the first thing we learned was that it rained at 4pm each day, with the rain accompanied by thunder and lightning, and that the downpour would stop as suddenly as it began.  […]

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 […]

Under the volcano – June 22 2009

This year’s meeting of the international Whaling Commission (IWC) is its 61st, and is being held in Portugal’s Atlantic island paradise of Madeira.  There, starting today, delegations from more than 80 countries are once again gathered to debate and determine the fate of whales.  It seems oddly appropriate that the meeting is being held in […]

IWC 60 day five: going, going… – June 27th 2008

Perhaps the most telling sign at the end of IWC 60 was that no-one wants to host the 2010 meeting. Usually, someone steps forward willingly, and quite often there is a competition. Last year, there were offers from Japan and Portugal, but Japan’s offer was withdrawn in response to what it perceived as unfair treatment, […]

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 […]

BC’s broken coast – June 17th 2007

Where salmon are farmed, wild salmon runs fail for the simple reason that farming this nomadic fish breaks natural laws. In nature, salmon start their life in rivers and go out to sea as juveniles. They spend most of their life at sea, and return to the same rivers to spawn at the end of […]

IWC day one – May 28th 2007

Day One of the 59th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) began in an ordinary enough way, with a prayer, welcoming speeches by dignatories, and a wonderful performance by Alaskan and Siberian native drummers and dancers that left the audience impressed and energized. Perhaps it was the charm, or the waft of fresh […]

IWC day five – June 25th 2005

The last drama of the 2005 meeting of the IWC was played out before the Friday morning coffee break. Earlier in the week, Sweden had offered to draft a compromise resolution on the Revised Management Scheme (RMS) that would potentially move the process towards quick implementation. The text that ended up as the resolution, which […]

IWC day four – June 24th 2005

The fourth day of the 57th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission opened with Japan`s annual request to begin coastal commercial whaling again. Japan asked that it be allowed to kill 150 minke whales in whaling operations conducted from 4 ports. The session began with a speech and PowerPoint presentation by the Vice Mayor […]

IWC day two – June 22nd 2005

Acrimony continued to dominate the proceedings on the second day of the 2005 IWC meeting in Ulsan, South Korea. The Danish chairman, Henrik Fischer, who has had a difficult time keeping the meeting on track, had barely begun to review the day`s agenda when one of Japan`s supporters, St. Lucia, asked for the floor and […]