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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

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Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

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A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

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Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

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WDC team at UN Ocean conference

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IWC 2012 is upon us

Our scientific colleagues will point out that the IWC began for them some weeks ago, indeed the IWC Scientific Committee has been meeting in closed session for quite some time now in Panama. The rest of the WDCS team is on its way to attend this week’s forthcoming technical committee meetings and working groups.

Some would say that this is where the real work is done, but this year’s plenary session promises to be either a damp squib if Japan and her allies once again just ‘upsticks’ and walk out of the meeting, or something quite different if there is a real debate about Greenlands increasingly commercial whaling.

But lets guess that Japan will not just walk out as it never likes to miss an opportunity to bring pressure on the USA whenever the Alaskan Inupiat quota is up for debate. Japan is quite happy to threaten the susbsistance whaling quota of the Inupiat if they can further the aims of the few Japanese whaling companies that are left. So lets see. You can follow the whole meeting here on the WDCS website.

The IWC meetings this week are as follows.

Monday 25th June:        Working Group on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues, Infractions Sub-committee and the Budgetary     Sub-committee (not open to GO/IGO/NGO observers)

Tuesday 26th June:       Conservation Commitee

Wednesday 27th June:   Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Sub-committee and the Working Group to consider the role of observers at meetings of the Commission

Thursday 28th June:     Finance and Administration Committee (not open to GO/IGO/NGO observers)

Monday 2nd-6th July:     Annual Meeting of the IWC

All the meetings are taking place at the

Hotel El Panamá
Vía España 111,
Street Eusebio A. Morales
P.O. Box 0816-06754
Panamá, Rep. de Panamá