Could Commercial Whaling Make a Comeback?

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was originally created to oversee whale populations in order to help the whaling industry develop. Since its creation, more governments have begun to oppose whaling, which led to the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, and later the creation of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

There are now 88 nations involved. Three of these, Japan, Norway and Iceland, continue to hunt whales.

A small faction of the IWC will be presenting a proposal that would reinstate commercial whaling in an effort to ‘save whales’ this Tuesday through Wedesday to decide how to proceed, the final decision will be made in June.

Proponents within the whaling commission are suggesting commercial whaling be condoned, with the caveat that the total number of whales killed each year decrease.

However, common sense and organizations including the International Fund for Animal Welfare, WSPA International and Greenpeace say otherwise.

“This is a proposal for the long-term conservation of whaling, not whales,” said Patrick Ramage, IFAW’s Whale Program Director. “In return for insignificant, short-term concessions from Japan, Iceland and Norway, the IWC would legalize commercial whaling in the 21st century.”

“This deal would be a sea change in a quarter century of whale conservation. It puts science on hold, the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary on ice, and no restrictions whatsoever on the international trade in whale meat. And after ten years, all bets are off — no more moratorium and much more whaling,” he added.   

Aside from undoing decades of work to protect whales, Greenpeace is opposing the ban on the grounds that it would legitimize whaling in the Southern Ocean, set quotas based on political decisions, rather than scientific grounds, which spells disaster, and will dump whaling costs onto taxpayers, whether or not they’re from countries who oppose whaling.

Greenpeace is also concerned that the U.S. will support lifting the ban and is encouraging Obama to make good on his word when, as a presidential candidate, he said he, “will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.”

If the ban is lifted, thousands of whales will be in danger of dying slow agonizing deaths by exploding harpoon.

“This proposal rewards the bad behaviour of Japan, Norway and Iceland – who have collectively killed over 25,000 whales since the whaling ban took effect. It fails to address the fundamental problem with whaling, that it causes extraordinary suffering. The cruelty of whaling has no place in the 21st Century. We strongly urge the IWC to reject this deal,” said Claire Bass, WSPA’s marine mammal program manager.

Send a letter to the IWC asking asking that the ban on commercial whaling be upheld. 

creative commons


Arnaud H.
Arnaud Henseval6 years ago


Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado7 years ago

No to making commercial whaling legal.NO! NO! NO!

Oksana K.
Oksana K.7 years ago


Lily Diana
Lily Diana7 years ago


Caroline L.
Caroline L7 years ago

The arguments I have for each of these countries is numerous.. from the sealing for eyes and testicles to the killing of bottlenosed dolphins for traditional meat no one eats. They are backward, barbaric countries on a par with China and North Korea. The films I saw of a Norwegian fur farm made me vomit. I can't imagine how they slaughter the reindeer. With the moratorium in place, these countries have openly killed whales with no resistance from anyone... except Paul Watson. Even our government turns a blind eye. I saw a Greenpeace video of Norweigan whalers killing mother whales and leaving their babies to die... only to read 3 months later that the "spoils" ended up rotting in a Japanese warehouse because the Norweigans could not afford the anti dumping import duties on the meat. These animals mostly die for nothing.. for a sort of sport in a world full of food from other sources that ends up in the trash, along with the whale meat. No, this should not be allowed. Whaling must be stopped and it is up to civilized countries to take responsibility and enforce the laws that exist. It should not be left up to one man and a boat full of desperate volunteers who risk their lives.. it is all of our responsibilities. Stop buying Japanese crap; send letters to our government insisting on action. The end to this is long overdue.. my vote is, of course, NO!

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p7 years ago

definitely a big NO

Walter G.
Walter G7 years ago

Could commercial whaling make a comeback? Sure it could! I'll bet there are hoards of politicians out there right now rubbing thumb on forefinger to form the clandestine message "bribe me!"

Stacey L.
.7 years ago


Steffanie B.
Steffanie Beale7 years ago

NO NO NO! Surely there are other ways to produce the products that the Whale hunters kill these magnificent creatures for!!!
This MUST stop!!

Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon7 years ago

i hope it doesn't.