International Whaling Commission [IWC] Law and Legal Definition

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is an international body protecting whale stocks. The IWC also facilitates in the development of the whaling industry. The following are the functions of the IWC:

1.Controlling the conduct of whaling;

2.Designating areas as whale sanctuaries;

3.Setting limits on the numbers and size of catches;

4.Prescribing open and closed seasons and areas for whaling.

The IWC has three main committees which includes:


2. Technical, and

3.Finance and Administration.

In Hopson v. Kreps, 462 F. Supp. 1374 (D. Alaska 1979), it was held that the IWC is limited to factory ships, land stations, and whale catchers under the jurisdiction of the contracting governments, in which whaling is prosecuted by such factory ships, land stations, and whale catchers. However, participation in the IWC is not limited to states involved in whaling.