Off the coast of Tonga in August, a baby humpback whale surfaces as mom glides below. Come October, mother and calf will head south to Antarctic feeding grounds.
The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC65) took place this past September in Portorož, Slovenia, with AWI in attendance to advocate for greater protection of whales. Among the agenda items: Japan’s scientific whaling program in the Antarctic (ruled illegal in March by the International Court of Justice); and a proposal from Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, and Gabon for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.
Other key items under discussion included Greenland’s renewed bid for a subsistence quota—despite the fact that much of the meat and blubber is sold commercially, and the increasing international trade of whale products among Iceland, Norway and Japan.
A full report on outcomes both positive and negative from IWC65 begins on page 6 of this issue.
Photo by Scott Portelli