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What happened at the International Whaling Commission 2016 meeting

Posted by Willie — 28 October 2016 at 3:48pm - Comments
Image of a whale's fluke (tail)
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

The International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 has just come to a close. Delegates from 64 countries spent a week discussing and debating whales, in Potoroz, Slovenia.
Greenpeace’s international team was there, and here’s a quick roundup of what happened.

Vaquita porpoise takes centre stage at Whaling Commission meeting.

Posted by Willie — 27 October 2016 at 3:25pm - Comments
Image of vaquita porpoise
All rights reserved. Credit: Tom Jefferson

Big news for a little porpoise.

Something big just happened for the tiny vaquita porpoise at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. The diminutive porpoise was the subject of a resolution, passed by all the countries present, urging concerted international cooperation to save the species from extinction.

Whale Fail – no new sanctuary in the South Atlantic (again).

Posted by Willie — 25 October 2016 at 9:51am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Twitter

Bad news from the 2016 International Whaling Commission meeting – as the first significant vote was another disappointment for whales and supporters of conservation. Despite getting a majority of votes in favour, the proposal to create a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary did not pass, because it was short of the three-quarters majority needed.

10 good reasons to protect whales

Posted by Willie — 21 October 2016 at 12:42pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Kate Davison

Killing whales for food has been happening for millennia. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales.

Why is everyone talking about whale poo?

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Whales are special. No, not for any stereotypical hippy la-la reasons, this is *science*!

Healthy oceans need lots of healthy whale populations: they keep things in balance, help disperse and mix nutrients, support entire ecosystems and help fight climate change.

Surprised? Read on…

Why the South Atlantic should be a sanctuary for whales.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:34pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

One of the most significant issues being discussed and voted on at the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia is the call to create a Whale Sanctuary in the South Atlantic. But what is a whale sanctuary? Why does it matter? And what’s so special about the South Atlantic?

A brief history of whales and commercial whaling

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 2:58pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Commercial whaling devastated the world’s biggest whale species, pushing some of them to the very brink of extinction in the early to mid 20th Century. Whaling for meat, oil, or whalebone was not a new idea, but new explosive harpoons and industrialised factory ships plundering the seas for whales had an even more catastrophic impact than what had come in centuries before.

It was the realisation that catches were declining that led to the creation, by whaling nations, of an organisation that would become the ‘International Whaling Commission’ (IWC).

International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 – what to expect.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 1:59pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton
Sperm Whales in Sri Lanka

Delegations from global governments, and representatives from NGOs are currently on their way to Slovenia for the biennial meeting of the International Whaling Commission meeting – so here’s a quick synopsis of what to expect from the meeting:

Iceland's fin whale hunt cancelled for 2016

Posted by Willie — 25 February 2016 at 12:24pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Modrow/Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists blockade whale meat shipment in port of Hamburg.

No endangered fin whales will be hunted in Iceland this year.

This is great news. Word today from colleagues in Iceland, and now reports in both Icelandic and English-language media confirm that the planned hunt for fin whales will not happen this summer. The man behind that whaling is claiming that he’s stopping because of ‘hindrances’ in exporting the meat. That’s great news for whales, and everyone who has been opposing this needless, senseless hunt.

Oops: University of Aberdeen used to justify Iceland's whaling programme.

Posted by Willie — 3 December 2013 at 11:35am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
University of Aberdeen research is being used to justify Iceland's whaling programme.

Science doesn’t always get a lot of breaks, it’s constantly twisted and misrepresented in the media, and sometimes the best intentions end up being used in ways the scientists themselves would never want them to be or condone. Who’d have thought, for example, that UK universities could be used to defend commercial whaling? Yet, that's exactlly what's happening right now.

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