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