Members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted in 1982 to ban commercial whaling beginning in the 1985-86 season. Since 1992, the IWC Scientific Committee has unsuccessfully requested that the Commission lift the moratorium and allow quotas for commercial whaling of some species.
Soon after the 1986 moratorium came into effect, Iceland and Japan began what is called ‘scientific whaling’ which is legal. Interestingly, Norway continues to hunt minke whales commercially and legally on the basis that it has lodged an objection to the ban.
It is a long discussion, but worth the listen, particularly to hear Johan Sigurjonsson from Iceland talk about the politics and the science and how for him, there is nothing morally wrong with killing minke whales.
Isn’t the ban on commercial whaling a form of eco-imperialism with countries such as Australia, Britian and New Zealand imposing their will on Iceland and Japan?