The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the global intergovernmental body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. It is set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling signed in 1946. The Commission has a current membership of 88 Governments from countries around the World.
In 1986 the Commission introduced zero catch limits for commercial whaling. This provision is still in place today, although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.
As well as keeping whale catch limits under review, the Commission works to promote the recovery of depleted whale populations by addressing a range of specific issues. These include ship strikes, entanglement events, environmental concerns and establishing protocols for whalewatching.
The pages on this website provide detailed information about the Commission, its meetings, decisions and its current work to conserve and manage whale populations throughout the world.
5 Dec 2013
Earlier this year, the IWC brought together whale watch operators, scientists and government officials from over 20 countries. The aim was to take forward work on a 5 year Strategic Plan and a web-based 'living handbook' for whale watching. The workshop sought input from all stakeholders. A number of key recommendations were made and their report is now published. For more information click here.
5 Dec 2013
The IWC Standing Working Group on Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) has reported on its meeting, held earlier this year in Brisbane, Australia. CMPs were introduced by the IWC to improve conservation outcomes for the world's most at risk cetacean populations. They are tailored, flexible tools which enable targeted management of human acitivities. For more information click here.