Earth Island Institute

ECO: The environmental voice at the IWC

ECO is published by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission on behalf of environmental and animal welfare organizations around the globe.

For further information, please contact: Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project.

Previous volumes of ECO are available here.


Volume LXIV · Panama City, Panama · No. 4 · Thursday July 5, 2012
Acrobat .pdf of issue

Hope for Small Cetaceans

At IWC 63 in Jersey, one of the few highlights of an otherwise depressing meeting was the announcement of sizable donations to the IWC’s Voluntary Fund for Small Cetacean Conservation Research by Italy, France and the UK totaling almost £50,000. This year, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK have announced further large contributions to the fund totaling some £35,000.

Small cetaceans represent the vast majority of whale species. They face many threats to their survival, from toxic pollution and entanglement in fishing gear, to large scale commercial and subsistence hunting. Sadly, these small whales represent some of the most critically endangered species left on earth, with some species and populations, like the vaquita and Maui dolphins, reduced to a pitiful number of animals barely clinging to existence.

In Jersey last year, ten NGOs (see below) were able to contribute an additional £10,300 to the Small Cetacean Voluntary Fund and a joint statement was read out by the IWC Secretary in plenary announcing this contribution and urging the IWC to prioritize and continue to expand this critical work.

This year, the Scientific Committee report includes strong recommendations to help save the vaquita and Maui’s dolphin. Once again NGOs are pulling together to contribute to the Fund.

We have tragically lost the Baiji. Can there be anything more important for the IWC to focus on right now, than helping save critically endangered species, like the vaquita and Maui’s dolphins that are teetering on the brink of being lost forever?

Please donate as much as your organization can spare; please send an email pledging the amount as soon as possible to Campaign Whale: