In the News


Pacific Whale Foundation helps derail a proposal to legitimize commercial whaling at the International Whaling Commission

Commercial whaling nearly drove many species of whales to extinction. Fortunately, the  International Whaling Commission (IWC) instituted and has maintained a moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986, which has helped many whale populations to gradually increase in numbers. However, three nations continue to hunt whales. Iceland and Norway openly engage in commercial whaling, citing legal objections to the IWC's moratorium. Japan exploits a loophole in the IWC ban that allows whales to be killed for “scientific purposes.” DNA testing has proven that whale meat from these so-called scientific studies is sold commercially.

In 2010, the International Whaling Commission considered a proposal that would legitimize commercial whaling, allowing whaling under a "quota system." Pacific Whale Foundation strongly believed that this would be a step backwards for whale protection. With support from our members and donors, Pacific Whale Foundation President and Chief Scientist Greg Kaufman was able to attend the IWC's Scientific Committee Meeting in Morocco in 2010, where he presented data from Pacific Whale Foundation's research studies in Australia and Ecuador. Pacific Whale Foundation's Ecuador Project Director Cristina Castro was also able to attend this meeting, and was also part of Ecuador's official delegation at the IWC's plenary session. Cristina Castro's efforts to unite South and Central American nations against whaling helped to derail the proposal to legitimize commercial whaling.