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The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and International Whaling Commission – Conservation or Preservation – Can the Gordian Knot be Cut (or Untangled)?

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AbstractThis article analyses the developments in the implementation of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. It first considers the historical background of the Convention and discusses the shortcomings of the Whaling Convention; then focuses on how various types of whaling covered by the Convention developed according to the changes in attitudes of states – parties to the Whaling Convention along the development of international law and international environmental law. The article covers the developments in commercial whaling; aboriginal (subsistence) whaling; and scientific whaling. It emphasises conflicts between the state-parties to the Convention and also in this context analysis the role of the International Whaling Commission. The complex and conflicting issues concerning whaling are not only of legal but political, cultural and ethical nature. Therefore, it appears that that there is no easy solution to existing conflicts in the near future, as the states appear to be intransigent in their views on all types of whaling, especially scientific whaling and the possibility of the resumption of commercial whaling.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London


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