THE RESUMPTION OF COMMERCIAL WHALING AND THE IMPACT ON THE INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION

Abstract
It can be argued that no other sea animal has been exploited for commercial purposes by humans as ruthlessly as whales. Certain whale
species before the advent of commercial whaling numbered in hundreds of thousands and as a result of reckless exploitation over the centuries, these numbers have been decimated. This led to the creation of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whales (ICRW) and also the Internation Whaling Commission (IWC) to protect the species from extinction by the international community. In this vein, a moratorium was imposed on commercial whaling in 1982. Japan has recently withdrawn from this commission and resumed the practice of commercial whaling.The hunting of whales is unique in the sense of regular global exploitation due to its ingenuity and scale. From its early days off the coast of northern Spain approximately 900 years ago to the development of the so-called, “floating factories” of the 20th century, humans have
commercially exploited what was believed to be an infinite resource.The International community has over the years developed a body called the “International Whaling Commission (IWC)”, tasked with the responsibility of regulating the exploitation of whales. This paper examined the development of the IWC, the different regulations that it has formulated to protect the species, the challenges of the Commission in executing its mandate, the resumption of commercial whaling by nations like Japan and the impact such activities have on the mandate of the International Whaling Commission and finds that a mere withdrawal from the IWC and the resumption of commercial whaling does very little to absolve a state involved in whaling from the dictates and conditions of the Commission.

Key words: International Whaling Commission, Whaling, Revised Management Procedure, Commercial Whaling, Moratorium.

 

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