Oh say! can’t you see?

IWC 2012 Day Three This celebration day for the USA (July 4th) began with a report by the sub-committee on whale killing methods and welfare.  Yes, whale welfare has somehow crept into the room, in the guise of “time to death”.  Quite possibly, no one disputes the likelihood that suffering is prolonged if death is […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 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 […]

Rays of light for whales – June 6th 2007

The predominant feeling from the whales’ side at the end of IWC59, despite the downbeats, was one of optimism. The contrast with the feeling in St. Kitts a year earlier was so marked that one couldn’t help but feel that (yet another) turning point may have been reached, this time, for the whales. New membership explains part […]

IWC day four – May 31st 2007

In a fit of pique reminiscent of a schoolyard boy who takes his collection of pretty marbles home because no-one wants to play the game his way, Japan ended this final day of IWC 59 with a video presentation extolling the virtues of Yokohama as the host city for IWC 61 in 2009… and then, […]

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 […]