Resolution 1993-9

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
IWC Resolution on Whalewatching

WHEREAS the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling includes provisions for the Commission to "encourage, recommend, or if necessary, organise studies and investigations relating to whales and whaling," and to "study, appraise, and disseminate information concerning methods of maintaining and increasing the populations of whale stocks," (Article IV.1), and also empowers the Commission to "take into consideration the interests of the consumers of whale products and the whaling industry" in providing for the "conservation, development and optimum utilisation of the whale resources" (Article V.2).

RECALLING that in 1983 and 1984 the Commission considered a Report on the Non-Consumptive Utilisation of Cetacean Resources which dealt with aspects of whalewatching and in 1990 adopted a resolution on redirecting research towards no-lethal methods, encouraging Contracting Governments to base their research programmes to the maximum extent possible on non-lethal research methods (1991 IWC Report, Appendix 5);

RECOGNISING that whalewatching is an expanding tourist industry which contributes significantly to the economies of a number of contracting parties, and in particular that about 4 million people worldwide in 1991 went on commercial whalewatching trips generating total global revenues estimated at over £185 million ($300m);

RECOGNISING also the contribution which whalewatching makes to education and to furthering scientific knowledge, including knowledge which could assist the IWC;

DESIRING to encourage the further development of whalewatching as a sustainable use of cetacean resources;

Now, THEREFORE, the Commission

(a) INVITES Contracting Governments to undertake a preliminary assessment of the extent, and economic and scientific value, of whalewatching activities in their respective countries, and to submit a report thereon to the Commission by 31 January 1994 which includes a description of any current regulations affecting whalewatching;

(b) REQUESTS the Secretariat to prepare a consolidated report about whalewatching, including estimates of its economic and scientific value and potential, for consideration at the 46th Meeting of the Commission, via the working group at (c) below;

(c) ESTABLISHES a working group to consider whalewatching, and in particular the report thereon by the Secretariat, prior to the 46th Meeting of the Commission, and to make recommendations to the Commission at that Meeting.