WWF position on Whaling and the IWC, June 2005

Posted on 31 May 2005    
Killer whale (Orcinus orca) off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russian Federa
WWF's goal is to ensure that viable populations of all cetacean species occupy their historical range, and fulfil their role in maintaining the integrity of ocean ecosystems. We work at a local level and across a broad range of international fora to address and reduce threats to cetaceans. In doing so, WWF acknowledges the widely varied cultural attitudes toward the conservation and management of whales.
WWF opposes commercial whaling, now and until WWF is convinced that the governments of the world have brought whaling under international control, with a precautionary and conservation-based enforceable management and compliance system adhered to by the whaling nations.
The IWC has an important contribution to make to the conservation of all cetaceans, but the current stalemates caused by the Contracting Governments are only adding to the many threats faced by both the great whales and small cetaceans. WWF urges governments to make the IWC an effective international forum for the conservation of all cetaceans, particularly those that are endangered, and to work to minimise adverse human impacts from commercial exploitation, marine pollution, climate change, ship strikes, fisheries bycatch, noise pollution, and other human-caused threats.
WWF continues to oppose the resumption in international trade in whale parts and products, and supports the retention on CITES Appendix I of all whale species and stocks protected from commercial whaling by the IWC.
WWF recognises the human need for aboriginal subsistence whaling where it is carried out by aboriginal, indigenous, or native peoples with long-standing, strong social or cultural ties to whaling; where products are for local consumption only; and with a precautionary management scheme in place to ensure such activities are sustainable and do not threaten whale populations.

For more information contact:
WWF-International, Ave. du Mont-Blanc, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Killer whale (Orcinus orca) off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russian Federa
© WWF / Kevin SCHAFER Enlarge

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