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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text


Summary of the "International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.


Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, London, 1975

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, London, 1976

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Malmo, 1986

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Bournemouth, 1987

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Auckland, 1988

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, San Diego, 1989

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Noordwijk, 1990

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Reykjavik, 1991

Amendments to the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Glasgow, 1992


See the ENTRI query system for information about the status of this treaty.
See the ENTRI thematic guide for more information about the relationships between environmental treaties, national resource indicators, and remotely sensed data.
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                   INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE
                      REGULATION OF WHALING, 1946


The Governments whose duly authorized representatives have subscribed
hereto,

RECOGNIZING the interest of the nations of the world in safeguarding for
future generations the great natural resources represented by the whale
stocks;

CONSIDERING that the history of whaling has seen over-fishing of one area
after another and of one species of whale after another to such a degree
that it is essential to protect all species of whales from further
over-fishing;

RECOGNIZING that the whale stocks are susceptible of natural increases if
whaling is properly regulated, and that increases in the size of whale
stocks will permit increases in the numbers of whales which may be captured
without endangering these natural resources;

RECOGNIZING that it is in the common interest to achieve the optimum level
of whale stocks as rapidly as possible without causing widespread economic
and nutritional distress;

RECOGNIZING that in the course of achieving these objectives, whaling
operations should be confined to those species best able to sustain
exploitation in order to give an interval for recovery to certain species
of whales now depleted in numbers;

DESIRING to establish a system of international regulation for the whale
fisheries to ensure proper and effective conservation and development of
whale stocks on the basis of the principles embodied in the provisions of
the International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling signed in London
on 8 June 1937, and the protocols to that Agreement signed in London on 24
June 1938, and 26 November 1945; and

HAVING decided to conclude a convention to provide for the proper
conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development
of the whaling industry;

HAVE AGREED as follows:

Article I

1. This Convention includes the Schedule attached thereto which forms an
integral part thereof. All references to "Convention" shall be understood
as including the said Schedule either in its present terms or as amended in
accordance with the provisions of Article V.

2. This Convention applies to factory ships, land stations, and whale
catchers under the jurisdiction of the Contracting Governments, and to all
waters in which whaling is prosecuted by such factory ships, land stations,
and whale catchers.

Article II

As used in this Convention:

1. "factory ship" means a ship in which or on which whales are treated
whether wholly or in part;

2. "land station" means a factory on the land at which whales are treated
whether wholly or in part;

3. "whale catcher" means a ship used for the purpose of hunting, taking,
towing, holding on to, or scouting for whales;

4. "Contracting Government" means any Government which has deposited an
instrument of ratification or has given notice of adherence to this
Convention.

Article III

1. The Contracting Governments agree to establish an International Whaling
Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, to be composed of
one member from each Contracting Government. Each member shall have one
vote and may be accompanied by one or more experts and advisers.

2. The Commission shall elect from its own members a Chairman and
Vice-Chairman and shall determine its own Rules of Procedure. Decisions of
the Commission shall be taken by a simple majority of those members voting
except that a three-fourths majority of those members voting shall be
required for action in pursuance of Article V. The Rules of Procedure may
provide for decisions otherwise than at meetings of the Commission.

3. The Commission may appoint its own Secretary and staff.

4. The Commission may set up, from among its own members and experts or
advisers, such committees as it considers desirable to perform such
functions as it may authorize.

5. The expenses of each member of the Commission and of his experts and
advisers shall be determined and paid by his own Government.

6. Recognizing that specialized agencies related to the United Nations will
be concerned with the conservation and development of whale fisheries and
the products arising therefrom and desiring to avoid duplication of
functions, the Contracting Governments will consult among themselves within
two years after the coming into force of this Convention to decide whether
the Commission shall be brought within the framework of a specialized
agency related to the United Nations.

7. In the meantime the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland shall arrange, in consultation with the other
Contracting Governments, to convene the first meeting of the Commission,
and shall initiate the consultation referred to in paragraph 6 above.

8. Subsequent meetings of the Commission shall be convened as the
Commission may determine.

Article IV

1. The Commission may either in collaboration with or through independent
agencies of the Contracting Governments or other public or private
agencies, establishments, or organizations, or independently

 a)  encourage, recommend, or if necessary, organize studies and
     investigations relating to whales and whaling;

 b)  collect and analyze statistical information concerning the current
     condition and trend of the whale stocks and the effects of whaling
     activities thereon;

 c)  study, appraise, and disseminate information concerning methods of
     maintaining and increasing the populations of whale stocks.

2. The Commission shall arrange for the publication of reports of its
activities, and it may publish independently or in collaboration with the
International Bureau for Whaling Statistics at Sandefjord in Norway and
other organizations and agencies such reports as it deems appropriate, as
well as statistical, scientific, and other pertinent information relating
to whales and whaling.

Article V

1. The Commission may amend from time to time the provisions of the
Schedule by adopting regulations with respect to the conservation and
utilization of whale resources, fixing (a) protected and unprotected
species; (b) open and closed seasons; (c) open and closed waters, including
the designation of sanctuary areas; (d) size limits for each species; (e)
time, methods, and intensity of whaling (including the maximum catch of
whales to be taken in any one season); (f) types and specifications of gear
and apparatus and appliances which may be used; (g) methods of measurement;
and (h) catch returns and other statistical and biological records.

2. These amendments of the Schedule (a) shall be such as are necessary to
carry out the objectives and purposes of this Convention and to provide for
the conservation, development, and optimum utilization of the whale
resources; (b) shall be based on scientific findings; (c) shall not involve
restrictions on the number or nationality of factory ships or land
stations, nor allocate specific quotas to any factory ship or land station
or to any group of factory ships or land stations; and (d) shall take into
consideration the interests of the consumers of whale products and the
whaling industry.

3. Each of such amendments shall become effective with respect to the
Contracting Governments ninety days following notification of the amendment
by the Commission to each of the Contracting Governments, except that (a)
if any Government presents to the Commission objection to any amendment
prior to the expiration of this ninety-day period, the amendment shall not
become effective with respect to any of the Governments for an additional
ninety days; (b) thereupon, any other Contracting Government may present
objection to the amendment at any time prior to the expiration of the
additional ninety-day period, or before the expiration of thirty days from
the date of receipt of the last objection received during such additional
ninety-day period, whichever date shall be the later; and (c) thereafter,
the amendment shall become effective with respect to all Contracting
Governments which have not presented objection but shall not become
effective with respect to any Government which has so objected until such
date as the objection is withdrawn. The Commission shall notify each
Contracting Government immediately upon receipt of each objection and
withdrawal and each Contracting Government shall acknowledge receipt of all
notifications of amendments, objections, and withdrawals.

4. No amendments shall become effective before 1 July 1949.

Article VI

The Commission may from time to time make recommendations to any or all
Contracting Governments on any matters which relate to whales or whaling
and to the objectives and purposes of this Convention.

Article VII

The Contracting Governments shall ensure prompt transmission to the
International Bureau of Whaling Statistics at Sandefjord in Norway, or to
such other body as the Commission may designate, of notifications and
statistical and other information required by this Convention in such form
and manner as may be prescribed by the Commission.

Article VIII

1. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention, any Contracting
Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing
that national to kill, take, and treat whales for purposes of scientific
research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such
other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing,
taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this
Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention. Each
Contracting Government shall report at once to the Commission all such
authorizations which it has granted. Each Contracting Government may at any
time revoke any such special permit which it has granted.

2. Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable
be processed and the proceeds shall be dealt with in accordance with
directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted.

3. Each Contracting Government shall transmit to such body as may be
designated by the Commission, in so far as practicable, and at intervals of
not more than one year, scientific information available to that Government
with respect to whales and whaling, including the results of research
conducted pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article and to Article IV.

4. Recognizing that continuous collection and analysis of biological data
in connection with the operations of factory ships and land stations are
indispensable to sound and constructive management of the whale fisheries,
the Contracting Governments will take all practicable measures to obtain
such data.

Article IX

1. Each Contracting Government shall take appropriate measures to ensure
the application of the provisions of this Convention and the punishment of
infractions against the said provisions in operations carried out by
persons or by vessels under its jurisdiction.

2. No bonus or other remuneration calculated with relation to the results
of their work shall be paid to the gunners and crews of whale catchers in
respect of any whales the taking of which is forbidden by this Convention.

3. Prosecution for infractions against or contraventions of this Convention
shall be instituted by the Government having jurisdiction over the offence.

4. Each Contracting Government shall transmit to the Commission full
details of each infraction of the provisions of this Convention by persons
or vessels under the jurisdiction of that Government as reported by its
inspectors. This information shall include a statement of measures taken
for dealing with the infraction and of penalties imposed.

Article X

1. This Convention shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification
shall be deposited with the Government of the United States of America.

2. Any Government which has not signed this Convention may adhere thereto
after it enters into force by a notification in writing to the Government
of the United States of America.

3. The Government of the United States of America shall inform all other
signatory Governments and all adhering Governments of all ratifications
deposited and adherences received.

4. This Convention shall, when instruments of ratification have been
deposited by at least six signatory Governments, which shall include the
Governments of the Netherlands, Norway, the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and
the United States of America, enter into force with respect to those
Governments and shall enter into force with respect to each Government
which subsequently ratifies or adheres on the date of the deposit of its
instrument of ratification or the receipt of its notification of adherence.

5. The provisions of the Schedule shall not apply prior to 1 July 1948.
Amendments to the Schedule adopted pursuant to Article V shall not apply
prior to 1 July 1949.

Article XI

Any Contracting Government may withdraw from this Convention on June
thirtieth of any year by giving notice on or before January first of the
same year to the depositary Government, which upon receipt of such a notice
shall at once communicate it to the other Contracting Governments. Any
other Contracting Government may, in like manner, within one month of the
receipt of a copy of such a notice from the depositary Government, give
notice of withdrawal, so that the Convention shall cease to be in force on
June thirtieth of the same year with respect to the Government giving such
notice of withdrawal.

This Convention shall bear the date on which it is opened for signature and
shall remain open for signature for a period of fourteen days thereafter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized, have signed this
Convention.

DONE in Washington this second day of December 1946, in the English
language, the original of which shall be deposited in the archives of the
Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United
States of America shall transmit certified copies thereof to all the other
signatory and adhering Governments.



                            PROTOCOL OF AMENDMENT

A Protocol to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
was adopted in Washington, D.C. on 19 November 1956. The Protocol provides
as follows:-

The Contracting Governments to the International Convention for the
Regulation of Whaling signed at Washington under date of December 2, 1946
which Convention is hereinafter referred to as the 1946 Whaling Convention,
desiring to extend the application of that Convention to helicopters and
other aircraft and to include provisions on methods of inspection among
those Schedule provisions which may be amended by the Commission, agree as
follows:

Article I

Subparagraph 3 of Article II of the 1946 Whaling Convention shall be
amended to read as follows:
     "3. 'whale catcher' means a helicopter, or other aircraft, or a ship,
     used for the purpose of hunting, taking, killing, towing, holding on
     to, or scouting for whales."

Article II

Paragraph 1 of Article V of the 1946 Whaling Convention shall be amended by
deleting the word "and" preceding clause (h), substituting a semicolon for
the period at the end of the paragraph, and adding the following language:
"and (i) methods of inspection".

Article III

1. This Protocol shall be open for signature and ratification or for
adherence on behalf of any Contracting Government to the 1946 Whaling
Convention.

2. This Protocol shall enter into force on the date upon which instruments
of ratification have been deposited with, or written notifications of
adherence have been received by, the Government of the United States of
America on behalf of all the Contracting Governments to the 1946 Whaling
Convention.

3. The Government of the United States of America shall inform all
Governments signatory or adhering to the 1946 Whaling Convention of all
ratifications deposited and adherences received.

4. This Protocol shall bear the date on which it is opened for signature
and shall remain open for signature for a period of fourteen days
thereafter, following which period it shall be open for adherence.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized, have signed this
Protocol.

DONE in Washington this nineteenth day of November 1956, in the English
language, the original of which shall be deposited in the archives of the
Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United
States of America shall transmit certified copies thereof to all
Governments signatory or adhering to the 1946 Whaling Convention.


[Schedule omitted]