Norway resumed commercial whaling in 1993 despite the fact that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on all commercial whaling had been in effect since 1986. The political party in government in Norway at the time took the decision in order to stem the decline in its popularity with voters in northern Norway. It was able to do so because Norway lodged an objection to the IWC's moratorium decision in 1982 and so is not technically bound by it.
Japan's agenda within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is self-evident - it wants a return to large-scale commercial whaling and is prepared to go to extreme lengths to achieve its goal. Unable to persuade the IWC to lift the current moratorium on commercial whaling Japan has, since the early 1990s, been openly operating a "vote consolidation operation"1 . The primary purpose of this operation is to recruit new member states to the IWC that will vote with Japan in favour of commercial whaling.
Melting polar ice is threatening the main food source for Antarctic blue whales and could lead to their extinction, an international environmental group said yesterday. The whales feed on small sea creatures known as krill, which in turn eat microscopic marine algae. These live in sea ice and are released in the summer when the ice melts.
When the International Whaling Commission (IWC) met in Australia, in July 2000, many participants expected it to create a large whale sanctuary in the South Pacific. This sanctuary would have extended the existing Antarctic whale sanctuary, which covers the feeding grounds of the great whales, so that the warmer areas where the whales give birth and raise their young are also protected. The signs were good:
The South Pacific Sanctuary will protect the breeding grounds of whales whose feeding grounds are within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, thus ensuring that whaling is prohibited on these populations where ever they might be.
Some populations of whales within the South Pacific Sanctuary were devastated by commercial whaling. For example, the humpback whales around Tonga were virtually wiped out by commercial whaling.
There is no safe dose of radiation. Exposure to radiation at any level can increase the risk of developing radiation-linked diseases like cancer. The way to minimise the risk is to minimise exposure to radiation as far as possible.