Whaling Diplomacy
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Whaling Diplomacy

Defining Issues in International Environmental Law

Alexander Gillespie

Whaling Diplomacy is the only book that addresses all of the substantive issues relating to the conservation of whales through the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It covers the law, policy, science and philosophy at the heart of each element of the debate, discussing how it has developed, the current problems that beset it and what is necessary for the future. Together, all of the issues involved in whaling form a single crucible through which the future of conservation in international environmental law is being debated.
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Chapter 12: Compliance

Alexander Gillespie


1 THE HISTORY OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE IWC The IWC has a long history of non-compliance with the rules and goals of the organization. Those who have sought to depart from the IWC may be divided into three groups. The first are those who have appeared under flags of convenience (‘pirate whalers’). These were a distinct problem throughout the 1950s1 and 1970s.2 The second group involves signatories who have blatantly disregarded the conservation dictates of the organizations, such as the former Soviet Union who were involved in a ‘considerable falsification of records’ in the 1950s.3 The third and final group consists of individual countries and (former) competing regional organizations (as discussed in Chapter 11) operating outside of the IWC’s auspice. These countries (see pages 325–6, Chapter 11) have all, historically, made the issue of compliance with IWC rules very difficult as they have operated outside the regime causing consternation to both CITES4 and the IWC.5 Specific working groups were being created (in 1976 and 1980) to examine this problem as whaling by non-members was believed to represent over 13 per cent of the world catch and 25 per cent of Japan’s whalemeat imports. Although the IWC has a long record of dealing with such non-compliance, the problem is not only historical. Current attempts to conclude an RMS and possibly end the moratorium on commercial whaling, necessitate the conclusion of a new I&O regime. As such, the IWC is renewing its compliance measures. This has been increasingly difficult, as...

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