Corruption in the IWC

Almost since its’ inception, the International Whaling Commission and many of its’ participating delegates and governments have been plagued with accusations and revelations of corruption.

Nothing could be more obvious than this, at this year’s meeting. It seems, after talking with media, scientists and members of NGO’s who have been to these IWC meetings for many years- some, almost decades, that at this year’s meeting it looks as though the corruption is getting worse…

Along with paying off smaller and poorer nations to give a supporting vote, whaling countries- in particular, Japan- have been involved in behind-the-scenes corruption for many years. At this year’s IWC meeting, there have been movements by some delegations to minimise the room for corruption- movements that haven’t had much time in the limelight of the IWC, as pro-whaling country, Japan, has been too wrapped up with misguided and erroneous accusations against Sea Shepherd and their ‘Safety at Sea’ for anything else to be touched on inside the meetings…

All the while, any organisation or individual who has any remote affiliation with Sea Shepherd is not allowed near the inside of the hotel- let alone the meeting… Howie Cooke of Surfers for Cetaceans and Natalie Fox of Women for Whales were both denied entry upon their arrival to the meeting. After showing officials their passes, they were ‘Googled’ and were found having a strong stance against whaling- and were asked to leave the premises after their passes were confiscated.

How is any progress going to be made if the IWC continues to discriminate against those who are publically and actively opposed to whaling?

I have always believed, and being here in the UK has only deepened that belief, that it will be individuals who are brave enough to have their voices heard, to go against the conservative route and create a motivational stir in the general public, one that gives both passion and hope to the masses- that create change.

Change doesn’t come from governments until the pressure of the public forces it to… the biggest battles when it comes to human and animal rights have been due to the public pressure created by individual passion.

On the first day of the meetings, the three organisations mentioned above all gathered in unity in front of the Hotel De France to show our objection to the inhumane slaughter of sentient creatures of the sea… In a surreal and intense moment, the Japanese delegates emerged from the hotel, to look down at us as we voiced our stance against whaling. Retreating back to the safe confines of the hotel, we could see their faces peering through windows at us… later, they would complain that our involvement with the Jersey public outside the hotel by getting passing cars to sound their horns in support of whale conservation made their lunch ‘uncomfortable’…

Uncomfortable… as if the photos and videos of thousands of intelligent creatures butchered and slaughtered for hours isn’t uncomfortable to the majority of the world’s population who voice their objection to the actions of whaling nations; Japan, Iceland and Norway… as if the sounds of thrashing water tainted with innocent blood from the waters of the Cove in Taiji, Japan doesn’t still haunt me in my sleep at night… making me feel ‘uncomfortable’…

If only it were as easy as to stand up before the delegations and pro whaling representatives in the International Whaling Commission, give a passionate and educational speech and change their minds on whaling… the fact is, there is too much political, economical and social intricacies involved in the issue of whaling to have any quick and definitive result when it comes to the IWC. Well, any result that will be put into effect while there are still whales left out in the oceans to conserve…

Being here has only deepened my motivation to inspire the general public to stand up for the oceans… because if we don’t, no-one will. We can no longer rely on governments, politicians and scientists to do it for us. The ocean is too important to lose without a fight.

So, tomorrow morning, once again, we will head to the Hotel De France and show those inside the IWC meeting that there are people out there who WILL stop the madness going on in our ocean, and to our whales and dolphins… we will represent the billions of people on this earth who want whaling to end.

Today, I talked to two very young girls of around 8 years old… they were outside the Hotel helping to get locals involved in creating a noisy voice against whaling. I asked them;
“Why do you want whaling to stop?”
And one of them replied…
“I saw whales in England with my mum and dad, and when I grow up- I want my kids to see them too!”
Just to think that this young girl may never have the chance to show her children the beautiful animals she once marvelled at when she was young, made me stand up, hold my whale conservation sign a little bit higher, and raise my voice a little bit louder…

I will have a long video made at the end of my time here in Jersey- there just hasn’t been enough time to edit the videos from every day… so I thought I would make one nice long one showing you all my week at the IWC… I hope to have it up early next week! But in the meantime, I will continue to update here with blogs and photos!

If you’d like to email me with any comments or questions, please do so to pathtoprotect@hotmail.com

On the path to protect,
Nicole.

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8 comments

  1. Bless you, all of you standing up for the whales! Don’t ever stop listening to acting from your heart.
    “Activism is my rent for living on this planet.” Alice Walker

    I’ll post your blog on my FB Sacred Swims with Whales Page.

  2. Such an inspiring blog Nicole!! They should call the IWC, the International Whaling Corruption! Keeping raising your voice! 🙂

  3. Absolutely wonderfully written Nicole! We cannot all be there, but I am so very thankful you and others are the voice of millions who wish they could be there. I have been reading the very detailed (and sometimes entertaining) blog from the WDCS rep & it is truly appalling how inept & useless the IWC is! Japan is being allowed to filibusterer the proceedings at every turn. They have accomplished nothing useful that I can see. But they are no longer completely hidden from public view – you and the other anti-whaling supporters are seeing to that!

  4. “How is any progress going to be made if the IWC continues to discriminate against those who are publically and actively opposed to whaling?”

    It would seem the more appropriate question would be: How is any progress going to made if the IWC includes those who are steadfastly opposed to whaling of any kind? After all, it IS the International WHALING Commission. Whose very purpose is to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”.

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