What Went Down: International Whaling Conference 2014 – The 65th Meeting

The meeting took place recently in Slovenia with over 60 member countries in attendance. Here are some of the issues and resolutions that came up for discussion and vote at the meeting.

International Court of Justice Ruling

The previous ruling by International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this year that Japan’s “scientific whaling” is illegal still stands and therefore no further permits for “scientific whaling” to be issued. Further to this a vote (35 yes, 20 no, 5 abstentions) was passed to allow the IWC Scientific Coommittee to implement various provisions which should make “scientific whaling permits” aka Special Permits Programmes more difficult to secure in the future under Article VIII.

The judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) during the session at which the court delivered its judgment in Whaling Case: Australia v. Japan. (Image: UN Photo/ICJ-CIJ)

Cross Boarder Protection

There has been moves to provide greater protection across international boarders for cetaceans. As highly migratory species cetaceans need protection that crosses boarders and oceans. If a species is protected in one country and then not in another then the protection will not be as effective as it could be because it will only cover a small amount of their range. This proposal was put forward by Monaco to allow for greater co-operation between the IWC and the United Nations and would be to allow for enhanced collaboration in the conservation of migratory cetaceans. This was passed by a vote of: 37 yes, 15 no, 7 abstentions.

Humpback whale and its calf (Credit: NOAA).

Whale Welfare


On Conservation News and Life Lately

I have been super busy these past few weeks catching up at home, writing grant proposals and getting in some quality puppy time and writing grant proposals!! I don’t however want to let the blog I love fall my the wayside.

Study Time

Study Time

There have been some pretty big things going on these past few weeks in the marine world:

  • International Marine Conservation Congress was held in Glasgow and from the sounds of things was pretty interesting. Lots of great talks including on the need for positivity in a sometimes dismal conservation world! With all the bad we need to bring some of the good news to keep people going, to maintain the focus, to just let us all have some happy…Celebrate the SUCCESSES! The new buzzword/term…“OCEAN OPTIMISM”! I like it.

  • The International Whaling Commission meeting on Climate Change also took place recently. Probably a lot less happy going on here. There are no proceeding out yet but I do fear it was less happy, clappy, good news of a meeting.
  • We need to act now with conservation actions before we have every single teeny tiny detail. That is the message that Amanda Vincent of the University of British Columbia opened IMCC with. It is true we may never know everything we can ever know when species or habitats are at risk. We have to gather what we know now and put it into action. Sometimes there is just no time to wait. We can keep collecting data but we still need a plan for RIGHT NOW!

“Science matters deeply, but we can’t let ourselves be trapped by the need to gather more data” – Amanda Vincent.

What stories have you been following this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Gloria with the frisbee

Puppy Play Time!

Why I chose to give it a miss…this time

A lot of people have been saying you must go, you have to go, it’s of great benefit if you attend.

Graduation Take Two! A helping hand in what got me into this crazy and wonderful situation!

Graduation Take Two! What got me into this crazy and wonderful mess!

What am I talking about? Why only the biggest marine mammal conference in the world! The 2013 Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference. It just happens to be occurring in three weeks time in the Southern Hemisphere where I currently happen to be (lucky me)! I have however already changed various versions of my plans several times over in the last few months and really needed to consider whether it was going to be a mistake not to go! I mean obviously I wanted to go! It would be a dream come true, to be surrounded by some of the best minds in the marine mammal world.

It was possible for me to go but, it would not be an easy or inexpensive endeavour, shall we say. Though what I could get out of it could be life changing (some may say)! However, not being currently being a student means that registration fees would be significant, plus the late registrations fees on top of that. Then comes accommodation, new flights, the changing of old flights, food (and gin), social events and if there are any good ones left $100 a pop workshops on the first weekend! Further to this given visa restrictions I have to get the hell out of Australia five days before the conference even starts so more time (and accommodation) in beautiful New Zealand!