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Photo of the Week (6/21/10)


Protecting the Hunted
Humpback Whale
Karen Varndell 2008/Marine Photobank
While most of the great whale species such as humpback (pictured here), blue, and fin whales are not hunted, commercial whaling nations are continuing to hunt minke and Bryde's whales. After presiding over decades of over-hunting of whale populations, in 1982 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted for a moratorium on commercial whaling. That moratorium took effect in 1986, but since then Japan, Iceland and Norway, have killed more than 30,000 whales by taking advantage of loopholes in IWC rules. This week, IWC will discuss a proposal to allow those three countries to continue whaling for 10 years. The proposal's supporters say this would reduce the number of whales being killed and bring whaling back under control; its opponents argue that it would reward whalers for violating the moratorium and presage a return to full-scale, unregulated whaling.

For more information, see the International Whaling Commission website.

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