The IWC and Greenpeace
The IWC was set up in 1946, and it took 20 years for the countries involved to agree to stop killing blue whales because there were virtually none left. As the biggest of the whales, they had been relentlessly hunted out first. It was the first global ban on any whaling to happen.
Then, in the mid 1970s, Greenpeace’s early whaling campaign shone a spotlight on the industry in a way that had never happened before; showing the public images of whales being killed sparked a movement and a sea-change in popular opinion against whaling.
IWC had to change. After over a decade of committed campaigning the ‘Save the Whales’ movement triumphed when the IWC voted in 1982 for a moratorium (ban) commercial whaling.
That ban came into force in 1986 and is one of the defining conservation successes of the last hundred years; marking the virtual end of large-scale whaling around the world.