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 […]

Will they ever learn?

IWC 2012 Last year’s IWC 63 meeting in Jersey ended in such disarray that one has to wonder how any of the participants manage to gather together the means to return. Yet indeed we will gather again, this time in Panama, to debate the fate of whales once more, and the future of the International […]

Will they ever learn?

IWC 2012 Last year’s IWC 63 meeting in Jersey ended in such disarray that one has to wonder how any of the participants manage to gather together the means to return. Yet indeed we will gather again, this time in Panama, to debate the fate of whales once more, and the future of the International […]

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 […]

The Damocles effect

The feeling in the room this morning was perceptibly lighter than earlier this week.  It wasn’t just me, I checked around, and others felt it too.  Yesterday’s decision to abandon the attempt to toss the moratorium into history produced a ripple that reached not just the diehard whale savers, but the wafflers and even those […]

IWC day three: on the edge – June 24th 2009

It became clear today that this 61st meeting of the IWC has only one substantive item on its agenda, Greenland’s attempt to obtain the Commission’s approval for killing humpback whales.  Just before the afternoon session closed (it was running an hour late) Denmark announced that its request on behalf of Greenland was being reduced from […]

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 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 […]

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 […]