Endangered Species Handbook

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The Long Battle for the Whales

     The first major step toward ending whaling came in 1971 when the U.S. Secretary of the Interior banned commercial whaling by the United States.  Also in 1971, Congress passed a Resolution calling on the Secretary of State to negotiate a 10-year moratorium on commercial whaling with other nations.  The 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) banned all harming and killing of marine mammals without a permit, further protecting whales.  The same year, Canada stopped commercial whaling after failing to fill quotas allocated by the IWC (Ellis 1991).  Years later, however, Canada became one of the countries voting against whaling moratoriums at IWC meetings.  Listing of the great whales on the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 banned import and export of eight species, thereby cutting off commercial imports of whale meat. At its 1972 meeting, the IWC rejected the U.S. proposal for a moratorium, instead voting a quota of 45,000 whales. 

Page 1 (International Whaling Commission)
Page 2 (Friendliness)
Page 3 (Norway)
Page 4 (Japan)
Page 5 (Whale Watching)

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    ©1983 Animal Welfare Institute