Decisions Document Number
Long Title
The florianópolis declaration on the role of the international whaling commission in the conservation and management of whales in the 21st century

Whereas the International Whaling Commission has been widely recognised as the main international body directly charged with the conservation of cetaceans and the management of whaling;
Recognising that the evolution of whale research methods, management alternatives and the sustainable use of whale resources, as well as that of international law since the adoption of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) in 1946 has led the role of the Commission to evolve through the adoption of more than a hundred conservation-oriented resolutions, as well as through various Schedule amendments to include, inter alia, the management of non-lethal appropriation of whale resources, as well as the maintenance of healthy cetacean populations to fulfill the vital ecological and carbon cycling roles these animals play in the global marine ecosystem functioning;
Acknowledging that there are diverging views among Member States of the Commission regarding how the IWC´s mandate should be adequately implemented, in a manner that would satisfy the broadest interest of all humankind in the conservation of cetaceans and their habitats, while recognizing the importance of accommodating the needs of indigenous people who are dependent upon whales for subsistence and cultural purposes;
Recalling Resolution 2007-3 on the non-lethal use of cetaceans and further acknowledging that cetaceans make significant contributions to ecosystem functioning and are beneficial for the natural environment and people, and that the sustainable, non-lethal and non-extractive use of whales is a rapidly growing activity deserving of recognition that provides significant socio-economic benefits for coastal communities around the world, particularly in developing countries;
Reaffirming that the moratorium on commercial whaling, which has been in effect since 1986, has contributed to the recovery of some cetacean populations, and AWARE of the cumulative effects of multiple, existing and emerging threats to cetacean populations such as entanglement, bycatch, underwater noise, ship strikes, marine debris and climate change;
Noting that Whale Sanctuaries have been repeatedly proposed by member States under Article V of the ICRW with the support of a majority of the Contracting governments in areas where non-lethal activities have provided relevant scientific results, jobs and income for coastal communities,
Further noting Resolution 2018-1 on the Response to the Independence Review of the International Whaling Commission;
Now, therefore the Commission:
Agrees that the role of the International Whaling Commission in the 21st Century includes inter alia its responsibility to ensure the recovery of cetacean populations to their pre-industrial levels, and in this context reaffirms the importance in maintaining the moratorium on commercial whaling;
Acknowledges the existence of an abundance of contemporary non-lethal cetacean research methods and therefore agrees that the use of lethal research methods is unnecessary;
Seeks to ensure that aboriginal subsistence whaling for the benefit of indigenous communities should meet the Commission's management and conservation objectives, taking into account the safety of hunters and the welfare of cetaceans;
Instructs the Commission’s relevant subsidiary bodies to take into account the need to adequately fund conservation and non-lethal management issues when implementing the plan to be developed by the Working Group on Operational Effectiveness according to Resolution 2018-1;