International Whaling Commission

In light of the dramatic decline in whale populations, whaling nations founded the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in 1946. Since then, the Commission has been responsible for implementing and building on the Convention, which provides for the “proper conservation of whale stocks” and “the orderly development of the whaling industry.” The IWC remains the only international organization charged with the regulation of whaling activities and the protection of whales.

In spite of the IWC’s efforts, no significant reduction in global whaling activities was seen until the 1970s, when countries like Great Britain, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia took measures to reduce their whaling activities.

Further Readings: 
  • Caldwell, Lynton K. International Environmental Policy: From the Twentieth to the Twenty-First Century. 3rd ed. Revised and updated with the assistance of Paul Stanley Weiland. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996.