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Whaling and International Relations:
Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation
Josh Gellers, PhD
October 5, 2015
FAMU School of Law Photo: TsuneoMP
Tragedy of
the Seas
2
Whaling and International Law
• 1930: Bureau of International Whaling
Statistics set up
• 1935: Convention for the Regulation of
Whaling comes into force
• 1937: International Agreement for the
Regulation of Whaling signed
3
Whaling and International Law
• 1948: International Convention for the
Regulation of Whaling enters into force
– Preamble: “…to provide for the proper
conservation of whale stocks and thus make
possible the orderly development of the
whaling industry”
– Art. III establishes the International Whaling
Commission (IWC)
– Includes binding Schedule, special permits,
objections, withdrawals
4
A Solution?
• 1982: IWC votes to adopt moratorium
– Signals shift from natural resource
management to protectionism
– Contravenes the letter of ICRW Art. V 2(b)
– Formalized a split among members
5
Source: Animal Welfare Institute
Explaining Failure
Anti-whaling norm was ambiguous
Epistemic community never emerged
Norm conflicted with other powerful norms
Key anti-whaling states lost prestige
NGO tactics failed to change behavior of whaling states
6
A (Partial) Victory?
• International Court of Justice decides
Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan)
in March 2014
• Finds Japan violated terms of JARPA II
under ICRW by:
– 1) Setting non-zero catch limits for certain
species
– 2) Using factory ships to hunt whales
– 3) Operating in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary
7
Regime Problems
Statutory inflexibility
Commission packing
Current IWC composition
Weak enforcement
No dispute settlement body
8
Ways Forward?
Pro-whaling states withdraw
• Expand NAMMCO
• Rewrite the Convention
Reorganize under UN system
Continue civil society pressure
9
Thank you! Questions?
10
Photo: Whit Welles

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Whaling and International Relations: Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation

  • 1. Whaling and International Relations: Challenges and Prospects for Cooperation Josh Gellers, PhD October 5, 2015 FAMU School of Law Photo: TsuneoMP
  • 3. Whaling and International Law • 1930: Bureau of International Whaling Statistics set up • 1935: Convention for the Regulation of Whaling comes into force • 1937: International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling signed 3
  • 4. Whaling and International Law • 1948: International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling enters into force – Preamble: “…to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry” – Art. III establishes the International Whaling Commission (IWC) – Includes binding Schedule, special permits, objections, withdrawals 4
  • 5. A Solution? • 1982: IWC votes to adopt moratorium – Signals shift from natural resource management to protectionism – Contravenes the letter of ICRW Art. V 2(b) – Formalized a split among members 5 Source: Animal Welfare Institute
  • 6. Explaining Failure Anti-whaling norm was ambiguous Epistemic community never emerged Norm conflicted with other powerful norms Key anti-whaling states lost prestige NGO tactics failed to change behavior of whaling states 6
  • 7. A (Partial) Victory? • International Court of Justice decides Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan) in March 2014 • Finds Japan violated terms of JARPA II under ICRW by: – 1) Setting non-zero catch limits for certain species – 2) Using factory ships to hunt whales – 3) Operating in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary 7
  • 8. Regime Problems Statutory inflexibility Commission packing Current IWC composition Weak enforcement No dispute settlement body 8
  • 9. Ways Forward? Pro-whaling states withdraw • Expand NAMMCO • Rewrite the Convention Reorganize under UN system Continue civil society pressure 9

Editor's Notes

  1. Commercial whaling began in 11th century with Basques (northern right whale), then Dutch, British, Americans, etc. Amplified by need for lighting oil during WWI, advent of steam ships, powered harpoons, and inflation lance.
  2. Second Phase of its Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic
  3. North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (started by Faroe Islands), UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)