The Changing Face of New Zealand's Whaling Policy

(from "Whaling and Anti-Whaling Movement", ICR, 1999)

Martin W. Cawthorn
Marine Mammal Scientist


New Zealand's current position in the IWC is strongly preservationist and anti-whaling but this was not always the case. Commercial whaling in the waters around New Zealand began in the late 1790s. By 1845 there were about 100 whaling stations around New Zealand taking right whales and humpbacks. Following the crash of humpback stocks in 1960 and the sudden drop in world whale oil prices in 1964, commercial whaling in New Zealand ended.

Until the collapse of the New Zealand whaling industry in 1964 New Zealand's position within the IWC was to reduce high seas over-exploitation to protect its local industry by insisting, among other things, that due regard be given to scientific advice. New Zealand withdrew from the IWC in 1968 but rejoined in 1976 with a position that was more protectionist but at the same time, kept open the possibility of exploiting this resource in the future. New Zealand's policy was therefor determined in accordance with scientific advice. This policy changed in 1979 when, due to public pressure and its perception of the inadequacy of scientific advice, New Zealand decided to support moves to implement a moratorium on commercial whaling. This protectionist and anti-whaling policy was strengthened throughout the 1980s and has been maintained during the 1990s by the increasing influence of Greenpeace and other organizations and the transfer of responsibility for whaling issues within the New Zealand Government from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to the Department of Conservation. When this department was established in 1987, its policy division included a former anti-whaling Greenpeace activist.

New Zealand's strong anti-whaling and protectionist policy has been subjected to substantial local criticism from the fishing industry, biologists and Maori representatives. This criticism has noted that at all other multilateral fisheries management fora New Zealand insists on presenting science based arguments, yet in IWC it has abandoned this approach. Even the Secretary of the IWC has noted that "some of the statements made by New Zealand in the Commission have caused concern amongst members of the Scientific Committee because they seem to demonstrate a lack of grasp of the science...". In addition, New Zealand's policy does not recognize the partnership and consultation required by the Treaty of Waitangi with the Maori and their substantive arguments are not reflected in the New Zealand position at the IWC.

The New Zealand policy is to ensure the greatest possible protection for cetaceans within the parameters of IWC. However, given that many stocks have recovered and are sufficiently robust to withstand a managed harvest, if the existing impediments to such harvests are removed, New Zealand will have to acquiesce or risk undermining the structure of the IWC.

Historical Setting

Across the broad spectrum of views held within the IWC, New Zealand stands firmly at the far right of the preservationist camp. It opposes commercial whaling on principle and is working hard to protect whales worldwide. But this was not always the case.

The final years of the 18th century saw the arrival in New Zealand waters of the first commercial whalers who were to leave an indelible stamp on the history of the European colonization of New Zealand. Whaling was one of the nation's first major industries stimulating trade and other activities. In 1840, of the approximately 224,000 pound sterling worth of whale oil exported from Sydney, more than half was thought to have come from New Zealand. Whalers intermarried with the Maori and their descendants continued whaling until the last whaling station closed in 1964.

Whales, the Guardians of Polynesian Voyagers
New Zealand straddles the migratory routes of many species of large whales which pass close inshore during their northern and southern migrations. For the Maori people of New Zealand, whales have special importance. They are believed to be the guardians and protectors of those on oceanic voyages and, when the animals strand, they are regarded as a gift from Tangaroa, the god of the sea, to the people on land for their use. This customary use included consumption of the meat, recovery of oil for lighting, the preservation of wood and working the bones and teeth of sperm whales into a variety of tools, weapons and ornaments. Thus whales had a significant material value as well as a spiritual one. Maori legend holds that soon after arrival from their ancestral homeland, about 450-500 years ago, crews of the Arawa and Tainui voyaging canoes vigorously disputed the ownership of a sperm whale stranded on a tribal boundary. But for all their dependence on the sea and their skill as mariners, pro-European Maori were not whalers, in the sense that they pursued and harpooned whales at sea. They relied almost totally on strandings. If a pod of whales was seen coming towards the shore, prayers and chants were said to encourage the stranding, the animals were welcomed ashore and the blubber and meat cut up for distribution according to strict societal rules.

Whale Fishing
It was inevitable then, that as European sperm whalers extended their activities into the Pacific, they would discover the untouched stocks of whales around New Zealand.

The first whaler recorded working these waters was the William and Ann, Capt. Ebor Bunker, in 1792. By 1801 there is evidence of the increasing success of whalers fishing in New Zealand waters. (Figure 1: Whaling grounds around New Zealand, p. 20) The sheltered shores of the Bay of Islands, on the north east coast of the North Island, provided abundant fresh water and timber for spars. This area soon became an operational base where whaling vessels replenished stores and refitted during the summer months. Being natural seamen, Maori frequently joined the crews of whale ships and the local tribes soon proved themselves to be successful, astute providers supplying the whalers with vegetables, fish and pork. Generally, relationships between whalers and Maori were good. Occasionally, whalers established close, long-standing relationships of convenience with tribes through inter-marriage. But relations with the Maori were not always so harmonious. In 1809, the European crew and nearly all the passengers on the Boyd, were massacred by Maori in retaliation for the ill-treatment of a young Maori chief who was a crew member.

Gradually the numbers of whale ships using the Bay of Islands increased. By the 1830s the area had become a temporary base for more than 100 British, American and other European whaling vessels. The settlement in the Bay of Islands, Kororareka (now known as Russell) developed an unsavory reputation and was described as containing 'a greater number of rogues than any other spot of equal size in the universe'.

By the end of the 1830s, the use of the Bay of Islands by pelagic whaling fleets was declining. In 1840, a singular event occurred which was to have a profound effect on the subsequent development of the country. New Zealand's founding agreement, The Treaty of Waitangi, between Maori and the British government, was signed giving the British Crown governance of the country while enshrining for Maori, amongst other things, "full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forest, fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess for as long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession". The Maori translation of the document referred to..."lands, villages, homes, and all treasured possessions..." Whales fall into the latter category. An important principle of the Treaty also refers to "partnership" between Maori and Government, implying consultation and cooperation in all matters relevant to the Treaty.

As the population of permanent residents in the Bay of Islands increased, the volume of available food stuffs to sell to whalers declined, and American, French and other non-British whalers' cargoes were then subject to British colonial customs duties. The pelagic sperm whaling fleets left New Zealand and moved north to the increasingly popular whaling grounds north of Japan and in the Bering Sea, with Hawaii becoming an important whaling base.

About this time, the whalers began to take advantage of the abundant stock of southern right whales and the bay whaling1 industry, Europeans with Maori boat crews harpooned whales and processed them ashore selling the oil and bone to middle-men. Right whaling peaked in 1839 and, because of over-exploitation, declined rapidly thereafter.

While sperm whaling declined, bay whaling, which was to dominate New Zealand inshore whaling for the next two decades, began with operations becoming established along the coasts of the South Island of New Zealand. The first stations were established at Preservation Inlet in the southwest and at Tory Channel off Cook Strait in the 1820s and similar operations proliferated over the next twenty years (Figure 2: Some New Zealand bay whaling sites (1827-1964), p. 22). By 1845 there were about 100 bay whaling stations around New Zealand taking right whales and humpbacks. The peak years for bay whaling were 1838 - 1839. But hunting pressure on the right whale stock was so intense the fishery had collapsed by about 1850. A few bay whaling operations continued fishing through into the early 20th century. At Te Kaha, in the Bay of Plenty, local Maori whalers hand-harpooned their last whale in 1925. In 1895, one of New Zealand's most ingenious whalers, Mr. H.F. Cook, operating from Whangamumu in Northland, began netting humpbacks using steel nets stretched across a narrow channel close to shore. When whales were trapped by the nets they were hand harpooned and taken ashore to be processed. In 1910 Cook bought a steam powered catcher boat and mechanized his plant ashore. One year later, the Perano family, whaling from Tory Channel began using very fast 10m. motor launches, each mounting a light harpoon gun. The New Zealand whale fishery, based on humpbacks, continued until 1960 when the stock crashed, unable to sustain the fishing pressure from operations in Tonga, two stations in New Zealand, Norfolk Island, eastern Australia and the Antarctic. The Great Barrier Island station, established in 1956, closed in 1961. Perano's switched to sperm whaling continuing until 1964 when the sudden drop in world oil prices forced them to close, thus ending commercial whaling in New Zealand. Whaling gave New Zealand an important bicultural commercial history before it became a member of the British Empire.

Development of New Zealand's Whaling Policy

Protection of New Zealand's Whaling Industry
New Zealand as a whaling nation had a vested interest in ensuring the proper management of the whale stocks upon which its very small industry depended. At the time of the ratification of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), New Zealand had only one shore station, established in 1911, which was privately owned by the Perano family. A second whaling station was established in 1956 at Great Barrier Island in Hauraki Gulf as a subsidiary of the Australian based Norfolk Island and Byron bay Company. It was hoped that the local industry might expand and New Zealand's membership in IWC might facilitate increased participation in this competitive industry. Compared to all other whaling nations, New Zealand was a very small player.

To protect the New Zealand industry, the Whale Industry Act 1935 was passed barring pelagic fleets from operating within the New Zealand three miles territorial sea. This was, in effect, a futile gesture as most of the whales were taken three miles or more offshore and, as the pelagic season opened before the domestic one whale stocks could be depleted before the local whalers began fishing.

During the 1940s and 50s, humpbacks were the target species for the local shore stations, but not for the pelagic fleets which concentrated on rorquals and sperm whales. However, because the use of the BWU2 system led to the progressive depletion of rorqual stocks humpbacks would inevitably become the target species for pelagic whalers in the south west Pacific and Southern Ocean.

Whaling and Science
Until the collapse of the New Zealand whaling industry in 1964, "conservation" meant conservation of the industry, not whales. The only interest groups which contributed to formulation of policy until that time were the whaling industry per se, and those contemplating entry into the industry. There were no other significant domestic pressures to complicate policy making during the 1950s and 1960s. The New Zealand government policy, as it was, was straight-forward. Its aim was to reduce high seas over-exploitation to provide protection for local industry. This led New Zealand to assume a conservative position within IWC with the aim of conserving Antarctic whale stocks to permit their rational use. Measures pursued by New Zealand to protect the humpback stock on which it depended included:

The New Zealand strategy in 1958 was also to oppose any increases in the overall Antarctic quotas made against scientific advice. At this stage of New Zealand's involvement with IWC, the government's interests were basically regional and economic.

In promoting whale research and regard for scientific advice, together with a desire to reduce the politicization of that advice, New Zealand took a stance peculiar to itself in 1958. This was the refusal by diplomatic representatives to take part in either the Scientific or Technical Committees, as explained by the New Zealand representative of the day, Mr. Frank Horner: "The theory behind this is that if the Scientific Committee consists only of scientists they can more reasonably be asked to give judgements based solely on scientific fact instead of disturbing their opinions by giving weight to technical or political considerations."

This point seemed to be lost on many other members who looked upon New Zealand's stance as an "amiable eccentricity." Unfortunately, by the mid 1950s the politicisation of the Scientific Committee was a fact with a number of scientists arguing the case for national industries first and effective conservation of stocks second.

The New Zealand stance was both a matter of principle and a reflection of the government's refusal to acknowledge any scientific expertise within New Zealand (it was most unwilling to send any experts to conferences) despite the fact that such experts were available. The dependence of New Zealand's case on scientific evidence of stock depletion meant that the work of local scientists had to be recognized by government and, by the late 1950s, expert scientific advice was being sought to support New Zealand's diplomatic arguments.

Investigations into stock movements, seasonality, biology and whale behaviour were undertaken by Dr. Bill Dawbin in the 1950s, in the 1960s Dr. K.R. Allen was a member of the Committee of Three3, and D.E. Gaskin and M.W. Cawthorn conducted all the research covering the transition from humpback to sperm whaling through to the closure of the industry. All were a very valuable resource for government. However, support for research waned as frustration at the disregard for research findings increased.

Between 1946 and 1968, the consistency of New Zealand's rather self-centered conservationist whaling policy and the vigor it was pursued by officials at meetings was not mirrored by government commitment on the issue. The whaling industry in New Zealand was economically so small government officials believed that whaling issues were receiving more time than they were worth. Funding was redirected to fin fisheries which gained priority over whaling. The low priority accorded whaling matters was demonstrated by the fact that New Zealand did not attend the first three meetings of IWC and the official New Zealand whaling Commissioner did not attend a meeting in person until the year before the closure of the New Zealand industry in 1963. Until then officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputized for him at meetings.

Domestic Interests
Through the 1960s, despite whaling matters being conducted in a multilateral forum, New Zealand's foreign policy decisions concerned with whaling continued to have local interests at heart, due largely to the government's continued definition of whaling as an economic concern. There was no domestic pressure to alter this view and, in pursuing it, New Zealand was no different from any other nation. As an example, in 1963 the Committee of Three recommended a 50 year halt to the taking of blue whales to allow the species to recover. Despite acknowledging that urgent action was necessary to prevent the species sliding to extinction, New Zealand's response was that the blue whale did not concern it directly. In matters where New Zealand considered it had no direct interest it voted according to scientific advice.

In 1964, falling whale oil prices and the activities of the Soviet pelagic fleet whaling off the coast of New Zealand led in part to the decision by the Perano family to close down their operation after an unbroken run of 53 years. Although there was now no direct reason for retaining IWC membership, the government decided to remain within the Commission on the chance that stocks of whales around New Zealand would increase and the business of whaling in New Zealand could revive.

Despite the government's apparent support for research and the need to base its decisions on sound science once whaling in New Zealand closed the commitment to the IWC waned, despite the importance attached to proper contributory membership by various officials. At the same time government demonstrated a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the continuation of funding for either marking and research, or to accept any increases in the costs of IWC membership. The prevailing mood was that New Zealand was becoming increasingly powerless within the Commission and believed that as it was no longer a whaling nation it gained no return from the costs and obligations of continued membership of IWC. New Zealand withdrew from the Commission in 1968 despite fears from other nations that this move might precipitate further defections from the IWC.

The Influence of NGO's
As we moved into the 1970s, public awareness in environmental issues grew rapidly. Environmental groups and other NGOs proliferated and became politically active in New Zealand and picked up the "Save the Whale" banner. The government reacted by moving from a conservationist stance to a stricter preservationist one. Following the lead of the USA, domestic legislation was introduced to ban the importation of all whale products into the country. This move was largely symbolic as it had no real effect on the whaling industry; however the New Zealand government believed under the circumstances it was the most effective move it could take. In 1978 the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 was promulgated to protect all cetaceans and pinnipeds within the waters under New Zealand's jurisdiction.

Until 1975, any prospect of New Zealand rejoining IWC was ruled out as the government could see no benefit from membership. The prospect of a 10 year moratorium on commercial whaling proposed at the 1972 Stockholm Conference raised the question how Japan would replace the protein derived from whale meat in the national diet. New Zealand politicians, many of whom were farmers and totally unaware of Japanese dietary preferences, immediately sized the notion that New Zealand could supply Japan with sheep meat and beef and, in so doing, enjoy the fruits of expanded export trade with Japan. This strategy was flawed.

Pressure from officials and NGOs, particularly Greenpeace and Project Jonah, and the growing level of public agitation against commercial whaling forced the New Zealand government to demonstrate its commitment to whaling issues at the international level. Whales had by then become the icon of the environmental movement. Countries which demonstrated a commitment to saving whales were perceived to be environmentally sensitive and sound. For thousands of people in New Zealand who had never seen a whale, the state of whale stocks represented "man's wanton destruction of the environment". As Mike Donoghue, one of New Zealand's earliest Greenpeace members said, "If we couldn't save these giants of the sea then how could we even think we'd save the planet".

The changing dynamics within IWC, and the perception that conservationist aims could now be realized through this forum, which now had the political will to force change, all aided New Zealand's decision to rejoin IWC. The New Zealand government however had not fully embraced the entire "save the whale" philosophy. In the 1970s the government developed an appreciation for the economic and commercial potential of the environment. It was also considered membership would be expedient should New Zealand once again wish to resume whaling. A briefing to the New Zealand delegation in 1978 advised that:

"In the long-term, with the hoped for consolidation of whale stocks and our own location in an area populated by substantial numbers of sei, minke and to a lesser extent, sperm whales, we were keeping open the possibility of exploiting this natural resource in the future in accordance with the Commission's guidelines". (MFA file 104/6/9/4 pt 13)

Locally, NGOs were becomingly increasingly vocal with regard to whaling issues and organized form-letter writing campaigns in support of their aims. These form letters were frequently targeted at schools and harassed officials in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (then responsible for whaling issues) were deluged with "save the whale" letters from schoolchildren. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that in the 1980s it received more letters about saving whales than on any other subject.

In resuming membership in 1976, the New Zealand Commissioner told the Commission that, "conservation was a principal and global preoccupation for New Zealand and that the government was now giving due consideration to measures of conservation."

The New Zealand stance to whaling was becoming increasingly uncompromising and it was noted that,

" The general opinion is that whales should not be killed even if if could he shown that whaling does not threaten the existence of the species" (MFA file 104/6/9/4/pt 13).

Despite this stance as a "principled" conservationist, New Zealand remained an opportunist, unwilling to pass up the right to exploit marine mammal resources in its waters as it saw fit, or to deny itself any future commercial opportunities from direct or indirect sources, such as licensing foreign whaling vessels to work within the EEZ.

Between 1976 - 78, official New Zealand policy was determined strictly in accordance with scientific advice, for example, if scientific evidence showed a stock to be abundant commercial whaling would be permitted. Where there was uncertainty, New Zealand argued that decisions should be made in favour of the most conservative option. In keeping with this support for science to underpin decisions, in 1978 New Zealand donated $10,000 to the International Decade for Cetacean Research (IDCR)4 with a substantial portion of the money earmarked for surveys of the humpback whale stock around Tonga.

In contrast to the approach taken by New Zealand at that time, preservationist arguments based on moral and ethical philosophies were being increasingly voiced by NGOs. The New Zealand stance in 1977 was, that there is really no ethical difference between the killing of a whale or any other mammal, and its concerns with whaling did not imply a belief that commercial whaling is wrong in itself. A not surprising view from one of the world's major producers of sheep and cattle meat.

At a time when the NGOs were exerting huge pressure on whalers to cease their activities, it was inevitable the two groups would become increasingly polarised and defensive. As an ex-whaler, without any current interest in the exploitation of whales within its waters, New Zealand assumed a role as mediator in IWC and successfully brokered concessions from both preservationist and whaling nations and contributed to significant progress in the Commission's work. Despite this mediator role however, New Zealand had aligned itself with the conservationist members of IWC. Delegates were instructed to consult with like-minded nations to form strategies which could achieve conservationist objectives.

New Zealand's Preservation and Anti-Whaling Policy
In 1979, New Zealand decided to support moves to implement a moratorium on whaling and the delegation would consistently adopt conservationist approaches to all other IWC agenda items. This change in attitude was due not only to public pressure but also the recent discrediting of scientific advice following the introduction of the New Management Procedure [NMP]5 which required the Scientific Committee to make categoric quantifiable recommendations on stocks and yields, based on inadequate knowledge.

In support for its change of policy the New Zealand government referred to international public opinion in favour of absolute protection of whales. According to the New Zealand Commissioner at the time, Mr. lan Stewart, the alteration to whaling policy was made with little formal discussion on the part of government. Stewart had personally come to the conclusion that reliance on scientific evidence could result in the extinction of some species of whale, to avoid this, absolute protection was necessary. The Minister of Foreign Affairs concurred with Stewart's advice, "there was no more foreign policy than that". Under succeeding Labour [1984] and National [1990] governments, this "policy" was given full support. As Stewart related, "I explained the whaling policy to the Prime Minister [David Lange], saying it was also my personal conviction that New Zealand should do this, but asked, what is your policy and should I remain Commissioner? The Prime Minister immediately gave me his full support. I did not need any further instruction than that" (K. M. Lynch 1996)

From this point on, New Zealand's course in IWC was set. It had, by and large, dispensed with the need for scientific advice to underpin its decisions and moved toward moral and ethical arguments to sustain its position. A number of issues arose in the late 1970s such as : Aboriginal/Subsistence whaling, Small Cetaceans, Humane Killing, International Observer Scheme, Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean Sanctuaries. Most of these are current topics for debate and New Zealand pursues its conservationist stance with vigor. Having dispensed with scientific advice, New Zealand relied heavily on information from other sources. Officials received and used information supplied by NGOs such as Greenpeace, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

In 1980, Mr. Mike Donoghue, a prominent Greenpeace front-line activist in New Zealand, asked Greenpeace if there was any chance of his becoming involved. He presented evidence of Chilean whaling activities to the New Zealand High Commissioner in London and asked if he could take this to the IWC. From 1980-82, and again in 1984 and 1987, he was accredited into the New Zealand delegation to IWC. This was not well received in IWC as the presence of a Greenpeace member weakened the credibility of New Zealand's conservationist arguments and angered the whaling nations. Nevertheless, with his wide range of contacts within the NGOs, Donoghue was able to act as an effective conduit for information from all these sources. In 1987, responsibility for marine mammals was transferred from MAF to the newly formed Department of Conservation and Donoghue was appointed to the policy division of the Department. As he commented in an interview in 1991, "He is still incredulous at his good fortune. The work he does in DOC is basically the same as he did voluntarily, but it is paid and gives him status as a government representative." (Pacific Way. Feb '91) From 1987, Donoghue has been an important and influential member of the New Zealand delegation to IWC.

In 1991, at the meeting of IWC in Reykjavik, Iceland, the 'Cooke model' for the Revised Management Procedure (RMP)6 was agreed upon and accepted, providing a sound mathematical basis for the management of whaling. Significantly, Commissioner Stewart opposed the model on the grounds of the 'tuning levels' set for whaling and abstained on voting for its implementation, despite the fact that this model is probably the most conservative 'fisheries' model of its type ever devised. In his explanation for his decision, Stewart succinctly set out New Zealand's policy on whaling, a policy which remains intact today. On taking over the position of New Zealand Commissioner in 1994, Mr. Jim McLay did so on the strict proviso that the policies put in place by lan Stewart would not alter.

Criticism of New Zealand's Policy
The construction of New Zealand's whaling policy has recently been subjected to substantial local criticism from the Fishing Industry, biologists and Maori representatives. Among these criticisms are those directed at inconsistency of policy. At all other multilateral fisheries management fora New Zealand insists on presenting science-based arguments, yet in IWC it abandoned this approach and does not adequately separate science and politics. As Dr. Ray Gambell has noted, 'some of the statements made by New Zealand in the Commission have caused concern amongst members of the Scientific Committee because they seem to demonstrate a lack of grasp of the science being developed in management.' In 1995, the New Zealand fishing industry supported the Japanese bid in IWC to resume commercial takes of minke whales. The industry still reminds Foreign Affairs officials at IWC briefings that there is little logic in its arguments to delay implementation of the RMS7.

For many years, environmental groups have claimed that New Zealand's whaling policy is supported by over 90% of the population. This is an inflated claim based on a mail survey conducted many years ago. It omitted a significant part of the population, Maori who represent about 12% of the population of New Zealand. In the opening part of this essay I noted that an important part of the Treaty of Waitangi was recognition of partnership and consultation. This has been notably absent from deliberations and when Maori do present substantive arguments these are not reflected in the New Zealand position at IWC. At a recent meeting of tribes unanimous resolutions called for, amongst other things, Maori representation on the New Zealand delegation, and a Maori Commissioner.

As evidence mounts that under protection many whale species have recovered and populations are sufficiently robust to withstand a strictly managed harvest, as would occur under the RMS, it is argued that a resumption of whaling is likely. The fact that New Zealand is conducting its debate within the framework of IWC means that if the existing impediments to managed whaling are removed it will have to acquiesce or risk undermining the structure of the Commission.


The New Zealand policy is to ensure the greatest possible protection for cetaceans within the parameters of IWC, ensuring that any future harvesting is properly managed, disciplined and results in the maintenance of stocks. Having pursued such a hard line protectionist policy for so long New Zealand may find it difficult to maneuver in any other direction.

1 The bay whaling: Activity of small, open-boat whaling from shore.

2 Blue Whale Unit (BWU): Adopted by the IWC in 1946 as a basis for setting quotas. This unit consisted of one blue whale, or two fin whales, or 2.5 humpback whales, or 6 sei whales. The BWU was abandoned in favour of species quotas in 1969 for fin and sei whales in the North Pacific. In the southern hemisphere the BWU was replaced with species quotas in 1972.

3 Committee of Three: Established by the IWC in 1961, the Committee of Three Scientists, consisted of three scientists from countries not engaged in pelagic whaling, who had experience in population dynamics, Drs, D.G. Chapman. S.J. Holt and K.R. Allen. This Committee, later extended to four scientists, worked from 1961 to 1964 in close cooperation with the Scientific Committee of the IWC and provided advice on the state of baleen whale stocks in the southern hemisphere and the consequences to them of various actions which the Commission might take.

4 IDCR: In 1978 the IWC established the International Decade of Cetacean Research (IDCR) which was an international program to conduct whale sighting surveys in the Antarctic.

5 NMP: The New Management Procedure was adopted by the IWC in 1975 as a system for classifying whale stocks and calculating catch quotas. Under this system whale stocks were classified either as Initial Management Stocks, Sustained Management Stocks or Protection Stocks.

6 RMP: Revised Management Procedure. The RMP, developed by the IWC Scientific Committee and adopted by the Commission in 1994, is a risk averse method of calculating catch quotas even under conditions that may include biases in estimates of abundance, errors in assumed stock boundaries and changes in carrying capacity due to environmental changes. The RMP has yet to be implemented by the IWC.

7 RMS: The Revised Management Scheme is the system the IWC is developing to manage whaling. It includes a risk averse method tor calculating catch quotas developed by the Scientific Committee (the RMP), specifications for data requirements and guidelines for abundance estimates and, an inspection and observation scheme which has yet to be agreed upon.


Carter, A. 1990. For the Love of Dolphins. New Zealand Listener and TV Times.

Duggan, S. 1991. New Zealanders. Pacific Way. 37:42-44.

Lynch, K.M. 1996. New Zealand in the International Whaling Commission. M.A. Thesis, Victoria University, Wellington.