In its first campaign of ocean diplomacy for the twenty-first century, the United States is trying to save the international whaling regime from breaking apart over the issue of commercial whaling. On the assumption that a reformed whaling regime could address the challenges whales face due to global warming, negotiators have come closer to a compromise than any previous attempt. But any effort to maintain a role for the International Whaling Commission (IWC) must not undermine the application by other regimes of new international norms, which include protecting the integrity and resilience of marine ecosystems. A compromise that does not repudiate the “whales-eat-our-fish” notion underlying the IWC’s current view of the ecosystem approach will hinder progress in other ocean governance institutions whose need for reform greatly surpasses that of the IWC.
Whales, Whaling, and the Warming Oceans,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.