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TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Whitehead, H., Waters,

Whitehead, H., Waters, S. and Lyrholm, T. 1991. Social organisation in female sperm whales and their offspring: constant companions and casual acquaintances. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 29: 385-389. Wills, D.K. and Bob, E.L. 1995. Scientific considerations for opposing the killing of whales on ethical grounds. Paper presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission, May 1995, Dublin, Ireland. Humane Society International, Washington DC. Würsig, B. 1988. The behavior of baleen whales. Scientific American 256 (4): 102-107. Würsig, B. 2002. Intelligence and cognition. In: Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (Eds. W.F. Perrin, B. Würsig and J.G.M. Thewissen), pp. 628-637. Academic Press, New York. WHALES – INDIVIDUALS, SOCIETIES AND CULTURES 29

30 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES 5 The IWC and whale welfare Andy Ottaway Campaigns Director, Campaign Whale, Lewes, UK. Philippa Brakes, Marine Consultant, c/o WDCS (Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society), Chippenham, UK. Welfare concerns and the regulation of whaling In 1931 the League of Nations drew up a Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which came into force in 1934 with 17 member nations. A conference, held by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, followed in London in 1937, culminating in the signing of the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling 1937 1 . The conference concluded, among other things, that governments should place themselves in a position to regulate the methods of killing whales to ensure that: “....the whale when hit may be speedily killed and wastage thus avoided” and “abate something of the undoubted cruelty of present methods of whaling” (International Whaling Conference 1937). Following the Second World War, governments agreed the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) in 1946, under which the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was founded. However, issues relating to the cruelty of animals within commercial whaling were not discussed at that meeting and the ICRW did not provide the IWC with any mandate to take action regarding the obvious welfare problems involved in whaling methods. The following year Dr Harry D Lillie spent a season aboard a British whaling factory ship in Antarctica as a physician. In an address to University College London in 1947 he said: “If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck into its stomach and being made to pull a butcher’s truck through the streets of London while it pours blood in the gutter, we shall have an idea of the present method of killing .The gunners themselves admit that if whales could scream the industry would stop, for nobody would be able to stand it”. Dr Lillie represented the World Federation for the Protection of Animals (WFPA) as an observer at the first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea meeting in 1958. One of their aims for this meeting was to include an article to reduce cruelty to marine mammals under international law. The IWC itself decided not to send an observer to this meeting, which adopted a resolution requesting: “…States to prescribe, by all means available to them, those methods for the capture and killing of marine life, especially of whales and seals, which will spare them suffering to the greatest extent possible”. 2 This UN resolution encouraged a debate within the IWC on ways to reduce the suffering of whales during whaling operations. The issue was raised at the 10th meeting of the IWC under the agenda item: ‘Humane Killing of Whales: Further Consideration of Action by the Commission to Assist the Application of the Resolution of the 1958 Conference’. At this meeting the commission “...fully accepted the spirit of the [UN) resolution” (IWC 1959) and established a working party on ‘Humane and Expeditious Methods of Killing Whales’ that reported back to the 12th IWC meeting in 1960. The working party concluded that for whales: “...pain could not be measured and that for

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