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International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

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Title: International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Whaling in Japan, Anti-whaling, List of international environmental agreements, Whaling, December 1946
Collection: 1946 in Washington, D.C., 1948 in the Environment, Animal Treaties, Environmental Treaties, Treaties Concluded in 1946, Treaties Entered Into Force in 1948, Treaties Establishing Intergovernmental Organizations, Treaties Extended to Aruba, Treaties Extended to Greenland, Treaties Extended to the Faroe Islands, Treaties Extended to the Netherlands Antilles, Treaties of Antigua and Barbuda, Treaties of Argentina, Treaties of Australia, Treaties of Austria, Treaties of Belgium, Treaties of Belize, Treaties of Benin, Treaties of Bulgaria, Treaties of Cambodia, Treaties of Cameroon, Treaties of Chile, Treaties of Colombia, Treaties of Costa Rica, Treaties of Croatia, Treaties of Cyprus, Treaties of Denmark, Treaties of Dominica, Treaties of Ecuador, Treaties of Eritrea, Treaties of Estonia, Treaties of Finland, Treaties of Gabon, Treaties of Ghana, Treaties of Grenada, Treaties of Guatemala, Treaties of Guinea, Treaties of Guinea-Bissau, Treaties of Hungary, Treaties of Iceland, Treaties of India, Treaties of Ireland, Treaties of Israel, Treaties of Italy, Treaties of Ivory Coast, Treaties of Japan, Treaties of Kenya, Treaties of Kiribati, Treaties of Laos, Treaties of Lithuania, Treaties of Luxembourg, Treaties of Mali, Treaties of Mauritania, Treaties of Mexico, Treaties of Monaco, Treaties of Mongolia, Treaties of Morocco, Treaties of Nauru, Treaties of New Zealand, Treaties of Nicaragua, Treaties of Norway, Treaties of Oman, Treaties of Palau, Treaties of Panama, Treaties of Peru, Treaties of Poland, Treaties of Portugal, Treaties of Romania, Treaties of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Treaties of Saint Lucia, Treaties of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Treaties of San Marino, Treaties of Senegal, Treaties of Slovakia, Treaties of Slovenia, Treaties of South Korea, Treaties of Spain, Treaties of Suriname, Treaties of Sweden, Treaties of Switzerland, Treaties of Tanzania, Treaties of the Brazilian Military Government, Treaties of the Czech Republic, Treaties of the Dominican Republic, Treaties of the French Fourth Republic, Treaties of the Gambia, Treaties of the Marshall Islands, Treaties of the Netherlands, Treaties of the People's Republic of China, Treaties of the Republic of China (1949–71), Treaties of the Republic of the Congo, Treaties of the Solomon Islands, Treaties of the Soviet Union, Treaties of the Union of South Africa, Treaties of the United Kingdom, Treaties of the United States, Treaties of Togo, Treaties of Tuvalu, Treaties of Uruguay, Treaties of West Germany, Whale Conservation, Whaling
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

States-parties to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (in blue). The official list is found here.[1]

The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is an international environmental agreement signed in 1946 in order to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry".[2] It governs the commercial, scientific, and aboriginal subsistence whaling practices of fifty-nine member nations.

It was signed by 15 nations in Washington, D.C. on 2 December 1946[3] and took effect on 10 November 1948. Its protocol (which represented the first substantial revision of the convention and extended the definition of a "whale-catcher" to include helicopters as well as ships) was signed in Washington on 19 November 1956. The convention is a successor to the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in London on 8 June 1937, and the protocols for that agreement signed in London on 24 June 1938, and 26 November 1945.

The objectives of the agreement are the protection of all whale species from overhunting, the establishment of a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper conservation and development of whale stocks, and safeguarding for future generations the great natural resources represented by whale stocks. The primary instrument for the realization of these aims is the International Whaling Commission which was established pursuant to this convention. The commission has made many revisions to the schedule that makes up the bulk of the convention. The Commission process has also reserved for governments the right to carry out scientific research which involves killing of whales.

There have been consistent disagreement over the scope of the convention. According to the IWC:


  • Signatories 1
  • Withdrawals 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


As of January 2014, membership consists of 89 Governments from countries around the World.[7] The initial signatory states were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.


As of January 2014, eight states that were formerly parties to the convention have withdrawn by denouncing it. These states are Canada (which withdrew on 30 June 1982), Egypt, Greece, Jamaica, Mauritius, Philippines, the Seychelles and Venezuela.[8] Belize, Brazil, Dominica, Ecuador, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, and Panama have all withdrawn from the convention for a period of time after ratification but subsequently have ratified it a second time.[8] The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden have all withdrawn from the convention twice, only to have accepted it a third time.[8]


  1. ^ Membership. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  2. ^ The Convention
  3. ^ Key Documents. Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c

External links

  • Text of the Convention at the IWC website
  • Ratifications.
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