Animal Law Review


Kacey Hovden

First Page



The ocean once teemed with whales at seemingly every tide and crest, but due to centuries of overexploitation, whales are now a rare and coveted sight in many parts of the world. Today, the challenge of preventing these magnificent giants from extinction remains prevalent, with slow recovery rates and continued whaling practices in direct conflict. This Article examines the history of global whaling practices and the International Whaling Commission’s 1986 moratorium and argues for the establishment of an effective regulatory scheme permitting commercial whaling only on abundant whale stocks. The scheme would encourage whaling nations to remain members of the IWC. This in turn would give the IWC more supervision over whaling industries and allow whaling nations like Japan to respond to their declining market demand for whale products without the international hostility that pressures these industries to continue. Ultimately, this Article contends that by reframing the Commission’s moratorium, the IWC will have a stronger international regulatory presence in ensuring the effective conservation of whales.



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