Dalhousie Law Journal


Norway, whaling, International Whaling Commission, moratorium, Objections Procedure, international law


In May 1993, Norway announced that it intended to resume limited, controlled commercial whaling. Although the International Whaling Commission (of which Norway is a founding member) voted by an eighteen to six margin to uphold the moratorium on commercial whaling originally established in 1985-86, Norway's decision to resume limited commercial whaling was not illegal. Norway had legally "opted out" of the moratorium by way of the Objections Procedure contained in the International Whaling Convention. Beyond being legal, Norway's decision to resume small-scale harvesting of minke whale stocks was in accordance with the findings of the Scientific Committee of the IWC, which had concluded that North Atlantic minke whale stocks were not in immediate danger and could be safely harvested on a sustainable basis.