So-Called "Scientific Whaling"

Article 8 of the Convention allows lethal scientific research to be conducted on whales and, presumably originally intended to avoid wastage, requires that the meat be sold commercially. Thus, IWC members are able to issue permits and quotas to themselves for research purposes. Japan and Iceland have exploited this loophole and have killed over 11,937 whales under scientific permits since the moratorium too effect. The IWC Scientific Committee and the commission have repeatedly challenged the validity of this research but without the availability of significant penalties for abuses of the Convention, the practice continues unchecked.