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  1. Objectives
  2. Area of competence
  3. Species and stocks coverage
  4. Members
  5. Further information

The 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."

Area of competence

The area of competence of the IWC is global. The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling also applies to factory ships, land stations, and whale catchers under the jurisdiction of the Contracting Governments and to all waters in which whaling is prosecuted by such factory ships, land stations, and whale catchers.

IWC area of competence
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.
Species and stocks coverage

Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus); bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus); Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni, B. brydei); fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus); gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus); humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae); minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, B. bonaerensis); pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata); right whale (Eubalaena glacialis, E. australis); sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis); Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris); Shepherd’s beaked whale (Tasmacetus shepherdi); bottlenose whale or Baird’s beaked whale (Berardius bairdii); Arnoux’s whale (Berardius arnuxii); southern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon planifrons); northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus); killer whale (Orcinus orca); long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melaena); short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus); sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).


Member: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, 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 States of America, United Rep. of Tanzania, Uruguay.

Further information

International Whaling Commission

Web site: http://www.iwc.int

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