MissionObjectivesThe main objective of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is to establish a system of international regulations to ensure proper and effective conservation and management of whale stocks. These regulations must be "such as are necessary to carry out the objectives and purposes of the Convention and to provide for the conservation, development, and optimum utilization of whale resources; must be based on scientific findings; and must take into consideration the interests of the consumers of whale products and the whaling industry." FunctionsThe main duty of the IWC is to keep under review and revise as necessary the measures laid down in the Schedule to the Convention that govern the conduct of whaling throughout the world. In addition, the Commission encourages, coordinates and funds whale research, monitors and provides advice to the commission on whalewatching, publishes the results of scientific research and promotes studies into related matters such as the humaneness of the killing operations. StrategyRegulations are adopted by the IWC through amending the Schedule to the Convention. The Convention permits the adoption of regulations that are aimed at managing whale stocks by determining:
IWC area of competence - High seasSpecies and stocks coverageWhale stocks species. Legal frameworkThe IWC was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed in Washington, DC, on 2 December 1946.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in the map(s) are for illustration only and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country, territory or sea area, or concerning the delimitation of frontiers or boundaries.
http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/commission/convention.pdf LanguagesEnglish as official language and English, French and Spanish as working languages. Organizations involvedThe list of member nations in this page may not be fully up-to-date. The up-to-date list can be consulted on the IWC Web site:
Member: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao People's Dem. Rep., Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent/Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United Rep. of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay.ManagementCommissionThe Commission is the decision-making organ of the IWC. Each year, usually in May or June, the annual meeting of the Commission is held, either by invitation in any member country, or in the United Kingdom – where the Secretariat is based. The Commission has three main committees - Scientific, Technical, and Finance and Administration. Another committee (the Conservation Committee) was created in 2004. There are also Commission subcommittees that deal with aboriginal subsistence whaling, infractions (breaking of regulations) and other ad hoc working groups to deal with a wide range of issues. Scientific CommitteeAn important feature of the Convention is the emphasis it places on scientific advice. The Convention requires that amendments to the Schedule “shall be based on scientific findings”. To this end, the Commission has established a Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee comprises up to 200 of the world's leading whale biologists. Many are nominated by member governments. In addition, in recent years the Scientific Committee has invited other scientists to supplement its expertise in various areas. The subject matter considered by the Scientific Committee is largely determined by the scientific needs of the Commission. These are expressed in broad terms in the Convention text and are to:
Information about programme, activities, meetings and resolutions of the IWC is available on the IWC Web site: EIMS Publications Database
The IWC produces a number of reports, journal and special issues series. The publications mainly comprise the journal of Cetacean Research and Management and annual reports of the IWC.
These publications are available on the IWC Web site .