IWC-66 had a full agenda on Thursday, discussing several contentious issues as well as adopting five resolutions. Three were adopted by majority vote: on the Minamata Convention on Mercury; on improving the review process for whaling under special permit; and on cetaceans and ecosystem functioning. Two were adopted by consensus: on enhancing the effectiveness of the IWC; and on the critically endangered vaquita. On the latter, several members indicated they did not wish to participate in the consensus, without wanting to block it either. After some discussion, the resolution on food security was withdrawn. Discussion on the draft resolution on strengthening the capacity of governments of limited means to participate in the work of the IWC was deferred until Friday, pending ongoing consultations.
Addressing scientific permits, participants considered the Japanese whaling programmes in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific, as well as the procedures used by the Scientific Committee for reviewing special permits.
Under the agenda item on safety at sea, Japan gave an overview of violence against Japanese research vessels in the Southern Ocean, concluding that it is of great urgency and importance that the IWC asks flag states to take effective measures to ensure that IWC Resolution 2011-2 (which condemns violence at sea) and international regulations are respected.
Addressing other conservation issues, participants discussed: conservation management plans, including on the Franciscana dolphin; whalewatching; and the Southern Ocean Research Partnership. Under other management issues, they considered the Revised Management Procedure, infractions, and catches by non-member nations. They also addressed cooperation with other organizations.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web highlights from IWC66. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report of the meeting in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB
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Russell Smith, US
Gitte Hundahl, Denmark
Daven Joseph, Antigua and Barbuda
Presentation by Japan on Safety at Sea
Photo Exhibit by Slovenian Marine Mammal Society - Dolphins along the Slovenian Coast