What are the benefits of joining the International Whaling Commission? The International Whaling Commission has a lot of members, but I fail to see why the countries would join such an organization, is there any benefit that can be obtained by becoming a member?


1 Answer 1


Originally, whaling countries joined the commission to keep whaling at what they thought was a sustainable level. Some of the member countries liked whale meat. As global sentiment turned against whaling, some countries (notably Japan) framed their whaling in terms of research. Japan appeared to be researching how many whales their whaling ships could kill per year. Japan ultimately left the International Whaling Commission in 2019. Canada also has left the commission; a significant number of Canada's First Nations peoples in the far north rely on whale meat for sustenance.

More recently, countries with an anti-whaling sentiment have joined the commission with the explicit intent of ultimately eliminating whaling entirely.

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    In the past, I understand that recipients of Japanese aid were encouraged to join and vote in support of a resumption of commercial whaling.
    – mikado
    Jun 20, 2021 at 8:03

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