Highlights and images for 11 September 2018



IWC-67 reconvened Tuesday to consider the longstanding effort to establish a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. The proposal failed to reach the requisite 75% majority, with 39 members voting in favor, 25 opposing, and three abstentions. Key areas of divergence centered on:

  • anticipated benefits from enhanced conservation;
  • effectiveness of a sanctuary approach for helping to mitigate anthropogenic threats;
  • strength of the scientific rationale; and
  • legal issues of the proposed sanctuary under the ICRW.

After the vote, Brazil expressed its respect for the IWC’s democratic process and its resolve to continue working for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

On Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW), delegates heard presentations on and endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of reports related to:

  •  the Ad-hoc ASW Working Group;
  • ASW management procedure;
  • Aboriginal Whaling Scheme;
  • ASW catch limits; and
  • status of the voluntary fund for ASW.

Delegates then focused on the proposed Schedule amendment on ASW, submitted by the four ASW IWC member countries, which includes: a one-time seven-year block for setting quotas; carryover provisions to address uncertainty in harvests; and autorenewal of quotas in specific circumstances. Representatives from native whaling communities in the US, the Russian Federation, Denmark, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines presented on the need for the amendment, including:

  • traditional dependence on marine resources, especially mammals;
  • flexibility needed to allocate whale quotas between seasons and villages;
  • commitment to continue following relevant IWC provisions; and
  • their right to harvest whales “in perpetuity” so long as stocks remain healthy.

Subsequent interventions by delegates indicated a divergence of views and, at the request of the proposing countries, decision making was deferred.

By day’s end, the IWC-67 had fallen a bit behind on its ambitious, packed schedule, but delegates continued to meet in the halls and small meeting rooms, with a focus on recrafting the proposed Schedule amendment to give effect to a revised long-term ASW approach.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from IWC67.


Photos by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada

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Dais during plenary
Alejandro Borda, Colombia
Gaston Djihinto, Benin
Andrea Nouak, Austria
Frédéric Briand, Monaco
Augustine Manoballah and Emma Metieh Glassco, Liberia
Soumitra Dasgupta, India
Lorenzo Rojas Bracho, Mexico, Chair, Conservation Committee
Senegal delegates
Stefan Ásmundsson, Iceland
Hermano Ribeiro, Brazil
Roxana Schteinbarg, Instituto de Conservación de las Ballenas
Delegates consulting
Mark Tandy, IWC Secretariat, and Rebecca Lent, IWC Executive Secretary
The vote tally on the proposed South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary
Capturing the votes
Edson Duarte, Minister of the Environment, Brazil
Bruno Mainini, Switzerland, Chair, ASW Sub-Committee
Bárbara Galletti, Chile
Andrea Nouak, Moritz Schwarz, and Michael Stachowitsch, Austria
Ingu Kang, Republic of Korea
Haydée Rodriguez Romero, Costa Rica
Nette Levermann and Peter WL Linde, Denmark
From a presentation on ASW by Amalie Sessen, Denmark, pictured above
Edwin Snagg, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Vladimir Piny, Chukchi whaling captain, and Gulnara Rodionova, interpreter
George Noongwook, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission Secretariat
Charlotte Winsnes, North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO)
Around the Venue