IWC summit delivers promise for increased whaling, too little for whale conservation

Press release - 6 July, 2012
Panama, July 6, 2012 – As the 64th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) closes in Panama City, Greenpeace International whales campaign coordinator John Frizell delivered the following statement:

“Once again, whale conservation lost out at the IWC. Despite a strong majority and overwhelming regional support for a much-needed South Atlantic whale sanctuary, a minority of distant nations masterminded its rejection. South Korea shocked the world by using the IWC as a platform to announce a plan to slaughter whales in the name of science. The fact is that the IWC has become a megaphone for whalers rather than a body focused on rescuing declining whale populations.”

“The future of the IWC lies with conservation measures, not whaling. A majority of IWC members stand opposed to whaling, yet their efforts to transform this organisation are being blocked by Japan and its allies. It is shameful that a tiny minority can block the will of the majority while the threats facing whales grow ever more serious.”

“The 20th century saw the greatest destruction of whale populations in history. The 21st century must be one of restoring these populations. We will continue to pressure governments to bring this reckless and unneeded whaling to an end.”


John Frizell, Greenpeace International whales campaign coordinator, +44 7801 212 999 or
Steve Smith, Greenpeace International communications, +31 643 787 359 or