International Whaling Commission
Observer Campaign, 1979 to Present

Earthtrust's accredited IWC observer, Sue White, takes time between meeting sessions at the 1994 meeting in Puerto Vallarta to urge passage of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary proposal. this historic proposal passed days later. Earthtrust's primary contribution to this meeting was DNA studies of the whale meat market in Japan.

Beginning in 1979, Earthtrust has maintained an uninterrupted and active presence at the IWC, and is one of the few international organizations to have this long a record. During this period, Earthtrust's work in cooperaton with like-minded NGO's and nations has seen the IWC turn from a "whaler's club" into a reasonably effective convention for the conservation of whales. These meetings are held all around the world. It has been a long road; the initial whaling moratorium (on Sperm whales) went into effect in 1985 and on other species in 1986. Japan cut a side-deal with the USA to postpone economic sanctions and whaled until 1988. There have been victories; the Indian ocean and Southern Ocean whale sanctuaries are great achievements; and the membership of the IWC is now open to real science and pro-whale arguments. The enormous questions of infractions and illegal trade are still out there, though, and are what Earthtrust is focusing on now. Every year, an Earthtrust team is onhand with the best-available research to continue this long-running fight for the whales.

There are a lot of groups which talk about saving whales, but only relatively few represented over the long term where it matters.


Windward Environmental Center
1118 Maunawili Road
Kailua, HI 96734 USA
(808) 261-5339

Return to "Other Programs of Earthtrust"