The IWC was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed in Washington DC, US, on 2 December 1946. The preamble to the Convention states that its purpose is to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
An integral part of the Convention is its legally binding 'Schedule.' The Schedule sets out specific measures that the IWC has collectively decided are necessary in order to regulate whaling and conserve whale stocks. These measures include catch limits (which may be zero as it the case for commercial whaling) by species and area, designating specified areas as whale sanctuaries, protection of calves and females accompanied by calves, and restrictions on hunting methods.
The biennial Commission meeting of the IWC is attended by around 400 people including government delegates, observers from non-member governments, other inter-governmental organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs) and representatives of the media.
IWC68 was originally scheduled to take place from 25 September to 2 October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been rescheduled for September 2021.
date: 1 September 2021 [tentative]