This article analyzes the practice of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) up to 2003 in establishing and regulating international whale sanctuaries, in order to ascertain whether an evolution has taken place in the conservation approach involved. An examination will be made of the IWC's decisions, resolutions, and reports of the Annual Meeting, and of recent proposals presented to the IWC. The results will lead to the identification of a corpus of legal documents supporting the conclusion that an evolution from the mere prohibition of commercial catches to a more comprehensive protection through international whale sanctuary has taken place, even if it has been in a slow and reactive manner.
- International Whaling Commission
- whale sanctuaries
- protected areas