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Whales are regarded as a totemic symbol by some nations and as a natural marine resource by others. Whaling and International Law presents a complex picture of legal problems surrounding the interpretation of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the role of its regulatory body, the International Whaling Commission. Contemporary whaling is about the competing interests of whaling nations (which are in the minority), non-whaling nations (which are in the majority) and indigenous peoples. Whales are covered by many international conventions, which has led to a very fragmented legal situation and does not necessarily ensure that whales are protected. This is one of the paradoxes of the contemporary international legal regime which are explored in Whaling and International Law. Whaling and International Law also examines the contentious issue of the right of indigenous peoples to whaling and questions whether indigenous whaling is very different from commercial practices.
1. The history of whaling
2. The International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling
3. The International Whaling Commission
4. Cultural diversity
5. Environmental ethics, animal rights and the law
6. The IWC and its interaction with other organisations and conventions
7. Indigenous whaling
8. A case study of the protection of the narwhal whale
Appendix 1. Taxonomy of whales: a brief introduction
Appendix 2. 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
Malgosia Fitzmaurice is Professor of Public International Law at the Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London. She is also the Nippon Foundation Visiting Professor of Marine Environmental Law at the International Maritime Law Institute of the International Maritime Organisation, Malta. She has published on the subjects of environmental law, the law of treaties, indigenous peoples and whaling.