3.9 Commercial whale hunting

Since 1972, Canada has banned commercial whaling in Canadian waters. Originally a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Canada disagreed with efforts in 1980 to declare a moratorium on commercial whaling. Canada argued that, in the absence of a clear and scientifically-justified recommendation for such action from the commission’s scientific committee, conservation requirements could be met under the commission’s management procedure, which provides for selective moratoria. Canada’s position on the moratorium issue earned a great deal of criticism from anti-whaling groups around the world. Canada withdrew its IWC membership in 1982 in protest over this issue. In 1986, the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling. Although Canada is no longer a member of the IWC, Canada continues to ban commercial whaling in its waters.

The Green Party believes that Canada should take a more active role in opposing whaling internationally.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Actively work towards instituting a complete worldwide ban on commercial whaling including the so called ‘research whaling’ currently carried out by Japanese whalers and so-called ‘traditional whaling’ done by Norway;

  • Oppose all hunting of bowhead whales, excluding Canadian Aboriginal subsistence hunting, due to the threatened state of this species.