International Whaling Convention


What is the IWC?

The International Whaling Convention is the founding document of an international agency of eighty nine countries that governs the conducting of whaling around the world and works to protect whales from excessive hunting. The convention requires a commission to meet annually and set, among other things, seasons for whaling, whale safe zones, species protection measures, and rules and limits for commercial and tribal hunting. To read the convention, look at this link:

The IWC was signed December 2, 1946 in Washington D.C. It is revised every year.


The International Whaling Convention established an association that meets yearly, thus adjusting to the different factors that can emerge over time. This allows the convention to change as the times changes. In addition, the convention has protected many different whales from hunters and violent deaths. However, the convention has stopped many practices of indigenous cultures and groups. This kind of legislation has been called cultural imperialism.


To improve the International Whaling Commission, more countries could become a part of the treaty. Currently, 89 different countries are a part of the commission. If more countries joined, the limits the commission creates would be more effective.


IWC (2013). History and purpose. Retrieved from

Barthelmess, Klaus (1994). Whaling pros and cons. Retrieved from