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International Management of Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Gambell, Ray
Conference: Common Property Conference, the Second Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Conf. Date: September 26-30, 1991
Date: 1991
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1686
Sector: Fisheries
Global Commons
Region: North America
Subject(s): IASC
global commons
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946, continues the special exemption from the regulations designed to regulate commercial whaling which were given to aboriginal whaling in the first international whaling Convention signed in 1931. When the International Whaling Commission established its management procedure for commercial whaling in 1975, it specifically excluded from its scope the whaling operations carried out by aboriginal peoples for subsistence purposes. This development was chiefly the result of the need to accommodate the longstanding Alaskan Eskimo hunt for the bowhead whale, which was then regarded as the most endangered of the whale species. As a result a separate but related management procedure for subsistence whaling operations was developed. This took some account of the status of the whale stocks being harvested, but placed greater weight on the perceived dependence of the native whalers and their communities for the hunt. This need is expressed not just in the nutritional terms of the weight of meat and other products which can be derived from the whale carcases, but also the part played by the whale hunt and the preparation and distribution of the products in the fabric of the local society. The International Whaling Commission emphasises the importance of involving the indigenous communities in the determination of the local need for such whaling, and in the monitoring and control of the whaling operations at the local level once the international and national regulations have been adopted."

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