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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 IWC brings ship strikes to the agenda of Whalefest, Brighton.

4 Mar 2015

This month, the International Whaling Commission will be attending the fourth annual Whalefest event to call attention to the increasing number of collisions between whales and vessels.  As ocean-going traffic increases, so does the risk of collision between ships and whales, and the IWC is raising awareness and support for a long term research and mitigation programme.


Member Map

Click Here for more information on our members