THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM

MULTILATERAL / MARINE MAMMALS
First Update; pages 425-429


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Agreement on the Regulation of Whaling, London, 1937 Done at London 5 August 1937
Entered into force 7 May 1938
Depositary: United Kingdom
Primary source citation: United States Treaty Series 933


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AGREEMENT FOR THE REGULATION OF WHALING

THE Governments of the Union of South Africa, the United States of America, the Argentine Republic, the Commonwealth of Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Irish Free State, New Zealand and Norway, desiring to secure the prosperity of the whaling industry and, for that purpose, to maintain the stock of whales, have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1

The contracting Governments will take appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the present Agreement and the punishment of infractions against the said provisions, and, in particular, will maintain at least one inspector of whaling on each factory ship under their jurisdiction. The inspectors shall be appointed and paid by Governments.

ARTICLE 2

The present Agreement applies to factory ships and whale catchers and to land stations as defined in Article 18 under the jurisdiction of the contracting Governments, and to all waters in which whaling is prosecuted by such factory ships and/or whale catchers.

ARTICLE 3

Prosecutions for infractions against or contraventions of the present Agreement and the regulations made thereunder shall be instituted by the Government or a Department of the Government.

ARTICLE 4

It is forbidden to take or kill Grey Whales and/or Right Whales.

ARTICLE 5

It is forbidden to take or kill any Blue, Fin, Humpback or Sperm whales below the following lengths, viz.:

(a) Blue whales 70 feet

(b) Fin whales 55 feet

(c) Humpback whales 35 feet

(d) Sperm whales 35 feet

ARTICLE 6

It is forbidden to take or kill calves, or suckling whales or female whales which are accompanied by calves or suckling whales.

ARTICLE 7

It is forbidden to use a factory ship or a whale catcher attached thereto for the purpose of taking or treating baleen whales in any waters south of 40 South Latitude, except during the period from the 8th day of December to the 7th day of March following, both days inclusive, provided that in the whaling season 1937-38 the period shall extend to the 15th day of March, 1938, inclusive.

ARTICLE 8

It is forbidden to use a land station or a whale catcher attached thereto for the purpose of taking or treating whales in any area or in any waters for more than six months in any period of twelve months, such period of six months to be continuous.

ARTICLE 9

It is forbidden to use a factory ship or a whale catcher attached thereto for the purpose of taking or treating baleen whales in any of the following areas, viz.:

(a) in the Atlantic Ocean north of 40 South Latitude and in the Davis Strait, Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea;

(b) in the Pacific Ocean east of 150 West Longitude between 40 South Latitude and 35 North Latitude;

(c) in the Pacific Ocean west of 150 West Longitude between 40 South Latitude and 20 North Latitude;

(d) in the Indian Ocean north of 40 South Latitude.

ARTICLE 10

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Agreement, any contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorising that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking and treating of whales in accordance with the terms in force under this article shall be exempt from the operation of this Agreement.

Any contracting Government may at any time revoke a permit granted by it under this article.

ARTICLE 11

The fullest possible use shall be made of all whales taken. Except in the case of whales or parts of whales intended for human food or for feeding animals, the oil shall be extracted by boiling or otherwise from all blubber, meat (except the meat of sperm whales) and bones other than the internal organs, whale bone and flippers, of all whales delivered to the factory ship or land station.

ARTICLE 12

There shall not at any time be taken for delivery to any factory ship or land station a greater number of whales than can be treated efficiently and in accordance with article 11 of the present Agreement by the plant and personnel therein within a period of thirty-six hours from the time of the killing of each whale.

ARTICLE 13

Gunners and crews of factory ships, land stations and whale catchers shall be engaged on terms such that their remuneration shall depend to a considerable extent upon such factors as the species, size and yield of whales taken, and not merely upon the number of the whales taken, and no bonus or other remuneration, calculated by reference to the results of their work, shall be paid to the gunners and crews of whale catchers in respect of any whales the taking of which is forbidden by this Agreement.

ARTICLE 14

With a view to the enforcement of the preceding article, each contracting Government shall obtain, in respect of every whale catcher under its jurisdiction, an account showing the total emolument of each gunner and member of the crew and the manner in which the emolument of each of them is calculated.

ARTICLE 15

Articles 5, 9, 13 and 14 of the present Agreement, in so far as they impose obligations not already in force, shall not until the 1st day of December, 1937, apply to factory ships, land stations or catchers attached thereto which are at present operating or which have already taken practical measures with a view to whaling operations during the period before the said date. In respect of such factory ships, land stations and whale catchers, the Agreement shall in any event come into force on the said date.

ARTICLE 16

The contracting Governments shall obtain with regard to all factory ships and land stations under their jurisdiction records of the number of whales of each species treated at each factory ship or land station and as to the aggregate amounts of oil of each grade and quantities of meal, guano and other products derived from them, together with particulars with respect to each whale treated in the factory ship or land station as to the date and place of taking, the species and sex of the whale, its length and, if it contains a foetus, the length and sex, if ascertainable, of the foetus.

ARTICLE 17

The contracting Governments shall, with regard to all whaling operations under their jurisdiction, communicate to the International Bureau for Whaling Statistics at Sandefjord in Norway the statistical information specified in Article 16 of the present Agreement together with any information which may be collected or obtained by them in regard to the calving grounds and migration routes of whales.

In communicating this information the Governments shall specify:

(a) the name and tonnage of each factory ship;

(b) the number and aggregate tonnage of the whale catchers;

(c) a list of the land stations which were in operation during the period concerned.

ARTICLE 18

In the present Agreement the following expressions have the meanings respectively assigned to them, that is to say:

"factory ship" means a ship in which or on which whales are treated whether wholly or in part;

"whale catcher" means a ship used for the purpose of hunting, taking, towing, holding on to, or scouting for whales;

"land station" means a factory on the land, or in the territorial waters adjacent thereto, in which or at which whales are treated whether wholly or in part;

"baleen whale" means any whale other than a toothed whale;

"blue whale" means any whale known by the name of blue whale, Sibbald's rorqual or sulphur bottom;

"fin whale" means any whale known by the name of common finback, common finner, common rorqual, finback, fin whale, herring whale, razor-back, or true fin whale; "grey whale" means any whale known by the name of grey whale, California grey, devil fish, hard head, mussel digger, grey back, rip sack;

"humpback whale" means any whale known by the name of bunch, humpback, humpback whale, humpbacked whale, hump whale or hunchbacked whale;

"right whale" means any whale known by the name of Atlantic right whale, Arctic right whale, Biscayan right whale, bowhead, great polar whale, Greenland right whale, Greenland whale, Nordkaper, North Atlantic right whale, North Cape whale, Pacific right whale, pigmy right whale, Southern pigmy right whale or Southern right whale;

"sperm whale" means any whale known by the name of sperm whale, spermacet whale, cachalot or pot whale;

"length" in relation to any whale means the distance measured on the level in a straight line between the tip of the upper jaw and the notch between the flukes of the tail.

ARTICLE 19

The present Agreement shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as soon as possible. It shall come into force upon the deposit of instruments of ratification by a majority of the signatory Governments, which shall include the Governments of the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway; and for any other Government not included in such majority on the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification.

The Government of the United Kingdom will inform the other Governments of the date on which the Agreement thus comes into force and the date of any ratification received subsequently.

ARTICLE 20

The present Agreement shall come into force provisionally on the 1st day of July, 1937, to the extent to which the signatory Governments are respectively able to enforce it; provided that if any Government within two months of the signature of the Agreement informs the Government of the United Kingdom that it is unwilling to ratify it the provisional application of the Agreement in respect of that Government shall thereupon cease.

The Government of the United Kingdom will communicate the name of any Government which has signified that it is unwilling to ratify the Agreement to the other Governments, any of whom may within one month of such communication withdraw its ratification or accession or signify its unwillingness to ratify as the case may be, and the provisional application of the Agreement in respect of that Government shall thereupon cease. Any such withdrawal or communication shall be notified to the Government of the United Kingdom, by whom it will be transmitted to the other Governments.

ARTICLE 21

The present Agreement shall, subject to the preceding article, remain in force until the 30th day of June, 1938, and thereafter if, before that date, a majority of the contracting Governments, which shall include the Governments of the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway, shall have agreed to extend its duration. In the event of such extension it shall remain in force until the contracting Governments agree to modify it, provided that any contracting Government may, at any time after the 30th day of June, 1938, by giving notice on or before the 1st day of January in any year to the Government of the United Kingdom (who on receipt of such notice shall at once communicate it to the other contracting Governments) withdraw from the Agreement, so that it shall cease to be in force in respect of that Government after the 30th day of June following, and that any other contracting Government may, by giving notice in the like manner within one month of the receipt of such communication, withdraw also from the Agreement, so that it shall cease to be in force respecting it after the same date.

ARTICLE 22

Any Government which has not signed the present Agreement may accede thereto at any time after it has come into force. Accession shall be effected by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Government of the United Kingdom and shall take effect immediately after the date of its receipt.

The Government of the United Kingdom will inform all the Governments which have signed or acceded to the present Agreement of all accessions received and the date of their receipt.

In faith whereof the Undersigned, being duly authorised, have signed the present Agreement.

Done in London the 8th day of June, 1937, in a single copy, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, by whom certified copies will be transmitted to all the other contracting Governments.

For the Government of the Union of South Africa: F. J. DU TOIT For the Government of the United States of America: HERSCHEL V. JOHNSON REMINGTON KELLOGG For the Government of the Argentine Republic: MANUEL E. MALBRN M. FINCATI T. L. MARINI For the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia: S.M. BRUCE

For the Government of Germany: WOHLTAT For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: HENRY G. MAURICE GEO. HOGARTH For the Government of the Irish Free State: SEAN O'FAOLAIN O'DULCHAONTIGH For the Government of New Zealand: G. MCNAMARA For the Government of Norway: BIRGER BERGERSEN