Press Release

Pew Welcomes Decision to Hold Special Meeting on the Future of the IWC

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Monica Medina, director of the Pew Whale Conservation Project, welcomed today's decision of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to hold a special meeting to discuss thoroughly the challenges that lay ahead to reinforce the International Whaling Commission. “Discussions this week on the future of the IWC clearly show that a thorough review and a fresh look are needed to bring the IWC into the 21st Century.”

“We are seven years into the new millennium, but the IWC has hardly changed since it was created in 1949. It is high time to reform the IWC. The world has changed, our understanding of the ocean has changed, whale watching has become prominent, international environmental governance needs have changed, and new environmental threats to whale populations have emerged.”

“It is clear from this week's meeting that there is general agreement among the commissioners that the institution is itself at risk of extinction. If we can resolve the on-going controversy over commercial whaling, we will be in a better position to address conservation comprehensively, and bring the IWC into the 21st century.”

The report of a Pew-sponsored Symposium on the State of Whale Conservation in the 21st Century was one of three documents the IWC reviewed this week at its annual meeting in Anchorage to discuss and consider its future. Pew will continue to contribute in a constructive manner in the work of the IWC, with a view to its modernization.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.