Vanishing Whales

Illegal Hunting Continues to Decimate Species




Whales are still being killed, despite an international ban on commercial whaling. According to Greenpeace, many whale species are down to around 1 percent of their estimated former abundance before the days of commercial whaling.

Fourteen whaling nations came together in 1946 to form the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to manage whale stocks and recommend hunting limits where appropriate, but the continuing decline of populations forced the IWC to call for an outright ban on all commercial whaling in 1986. Yet Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to defy the ban, each harvesting hundreds of whales every year.

Several green groups, including the Natural Resources Development Council (NRDC), recently petitioned the U.S. government to take action against Iceland under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman’s Protective Act. “The Amendment allows the president to impose trade sanctions against a country that is ‘diminishing the effectiveness’ of a conservation agreement—in Iceland’s case, the whaling moratorium and another international treaty that prohibits trade in endangered species,” writes the NRDC. The petition names several Icelandic firms—including major seafood companies with ties to the country’s whaling industry—as potential targets for trade sanctions.


To learn more, visit iwcoffice.org, Greenpeace.org and nrdc.org.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Lower Overhead

Cincinnati has purchased 100 percent renewable energy to operate most of its municipal buildings through at least 2021, cutting its utility rates by more than $100,000 annually.

Independent Action

More than 50 mayors from around the globe have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, intended to guide cities toward reaching greenhouse gas emissions reductions similar to those targeted in the Paris climate accord.

Deadly Cargo

The Iranian tanker Sanchi oil spill in the East China Sea has scientists worried about unknown impacts caused by the toxic nature of the ultra-light, highly flammable oil.

Eco-Villains

A beach cleanup in the Philippines resulted in the finding that Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora were the top sources of plastic waste there.

Green Team

The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field recycles 96 percent of all waste, garnering the team Major League Baseball’s Green Glove Award for 2017.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags