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The International Whaling Commission

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling.  The IWC currently has 88 member governments from countries all over the world.  All members are signatories to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.  This Convention is the legal framework which established the IWC in 1946. 

Uncertainty over whale numbers led to the introduction of a ‘moratorium’ on commercial whaling in 1986.  This remains in place although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.  Today, the Commission also works to understand and address a wide range of non-whaling threats to cetaceans including entanglement, ship strike, marine debris, climate change and other environmental concerns.  



The Scientific Committee of the IWC meets in San Diego

20 May 2015

Approximately 200 of the world’s leading cetacean scientists are gathering in San Diego for the annual meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee.  Around one hundred separate sessions will take place over the next two weeks, as scientists scrutinise the latest research on a wide range of subjects, from ecosystem modelling and population estimates, to climate change and the impact of underwater noise.


Member Map

Click Here for more information on our members