International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
BY NATHAN GYLES HISTORY 3ES3
What is the IWC ?
IWC stands for the International whaling commission.
December 2nd 1946 , Washington DC. The date of the first convention
The 15 nations present at this convention where :Australia, Argentina , Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Peru, UK, United States, South Africa.
It was during another international meeting in 1956 that the term “ whale-catcher” was expanded to include air craft as whaling vessels and thus under the same international regulations, November 19th ,1956
“ of which today we have no inkling, owing to the fact that the necessity which now arouses our legitimate apprehensions was never contemplated.”
The importance and relevance of these league of nations meetings is at the time no such agreement in respect to the sea and its resources have never seen this kind of global effort and union of nations, in respect to conservation
Whaling had become a international concern because it had not only specialized the ships and hunting weapons but the now mechanized the oil extraction process.
This conversion to floating factories became and still is a serious threat to whales because it accelerates the processing of the whale ten to twenty fold.
Although one must always be aware of the conservation limit of all of earths resources, the way whaling was practiced pre – 1868, before industrialized whaling , whaling was a crude and primitive practice. “ men from rowing boats would hurl hand harpoons or bomb lances at the swift moving whale.”
Pre – industrial whaling
The harpoon gun lunches a spear like projectile which is fastened to a craft of sorts usually a large ship.Whalers with the advent of this new technology where not limited to certain species or whale of certain sizes as harpoons where in discriminatory willingly piercing the flesh of all whale species and setting off an explosive charge that proves the huge creatures vulnerability and morality
the Atlantic Marine mammal commission is a alliance between Norway, Greenland and the Fueroe Islands This act of defiance was a reaction to what the Atlantic Marine mammal commission felt was an unjust claim to international sovereignty and the right to make international regulations.
This was also an attempt by pro- whaling nations at the 54th convention to try to shape the issue of whaling in a pro – whaling scope and away from the current anti whaling movement that they see as a “ western NGO view of whales as environmental symbols.”
It was also at this 2002 convention that Japanese scientist faced heavy criticism. This criticism was in response to the claim made by Japanese scientist that whale populations needed to be reduced because of their consumption of fish which could other wise feed millions of people.
“ environmental movement groups such as green peace and the environmental investigation agency have been pressing the IWC to expand its mandate to protect about 70 species of small whales , dolphins and porpoises.
The IWC should be seen as a model for environmental activism, and international cooperation for conservation. One of the greatest examples of this is the 1982 IWC convention when there was a majority ruling to put an end to international whaling.
We must remember that wealth is often attainted through over acclimation, in other words greed!!! The history of whaling and the environmental consequences that have ensued are a reminder of the price paid for greed and over extension of natural resources.
If we as a global community wish to see an age with environmental integrity and harmony we must put pressure on our governments to move from an expansionist ideology to a protectionist one . International cooperation from the global community is necessary to “ sustain a long term ecological balance.”Yes compromises will have to be made and a form of incentive possibility implemented to get all global actors on board but the IWC accomplishments within the international community is a great example of what can be done in terms of global governance.“ of whales and politics