Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

IWC Heroes and Villains

Since the early 1990s accusations have been levelled against the Government of Japan that it was linking its overseas development aid (ODA) to the recruitment of other nation states to support its campaign for a resumption of commercial whaling.

Watching the voting patterns of the various Parties, a neutral observer new to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) would think that the world is equally split between the pro-conservation lobby and those that who are adamantly, and often vocally, committed to the support of commercial whaling. This polarity is often used to either accuse the IWC of being dysfunctional or as an excuse to claim the need to compromise to be able to move the IWC forward.

Japan, in seeking to launch its scientific whaling programme after the adoption of the IWC moratorium in the mid-1980s, also set about ensuring that it could overturn the majority opposition to its whaling within the IWC. This year it is even seeking to modify the moratorium but it relies on the support of its ‘friends’ at IWC.

Japan realised that whilst a three-quarters majority was maybe too difficult to achieve, a simple majority may be within reach. Japan strategy needed to block progressive conservation moves via a simple majority and, it realised, this would allow it to achieve politically supporting statements that would advance its case both within and without the IWC, whenever possible.

Japan, therefore, turned to its overseas development aid (ODA) budget as a new tool in the whaling debate. You can read a detailed discussion of Japan’s vote buying in a previous blog.

The following chart is a snapshot of WDC’s view as to the voting stance of current members of the IWC, and we shall modify as the various states actually vote this year. You can follow the results at Decisions Taken at IWC 2016.

If you come from one of the countries that are supporting the whalers, WDC would ask you to question why your country is adopting such a position? And if you disagree with them supporting the slaughter of whales and dolphins then make sure your government know that you want them to change their position.

To give you a head start, here are some of the heroes