International Whaling Commission (IWC) Moratorium

International Whaling Commission (IWC) Moratorium

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) Moratorium is an international agreement that banned commercial whaling, aiming to conserve whale populations and promote their recovery. It was adopted in 1982 and came into effect in 1986.

The IWC, established in 1946 under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), initially aimed to regulate the whaling industry and ensure the sustainable exploitation of whale stocks. However, as awareness of environmental issues and the precarious status of many whale species grew, the IWC shifted its focus towards conservation.

In 1982, the IWC adopted a resolution to establish a moratorium on commercial whaling, which was set to come into effect in 1986. This decision was driven by concerns over dwindling whale populations and the inability of the commission to enforce sustainable whaling practices among member countries. The moratorium prohibited the hunting of all large whale species, except for specific exceptions such as aboriginal subsistence whaling and scientific research.

Despite opposition from whaling nations such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland, the moratorium has successfully allowed many whale populations to recover. Some countries, however, have continued whaling under the guise of scientific research or have objected to the moratorium and continued limited commercial whaling, leading to ongoing disputes within the IWC.

In recent years, there have been efforts to establish a revised management scheme that would allow for limited, sustainable whaling. However, these proposals have been met with resistance from both pro- and anti-whaling countries, resulting in a deadlock within the IWC.

In summary, the International Whaling Commission Moratorium was adopted in 1982 and implemented in 1986 as a response to concerns over the decline of whale populations due to commercial whaling. The moratorium has been successful in promoting the recovery of many whale species, although disputes and tensions within the IWC persist regarding the future of commercial whaling.