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Control of the Whaling Industry

Nature volume 134, pages 174175 (04 August 1934) | Download Citation



THE Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill, which passed almost unobserved through all its stages in the closing days of the parliamentary session, gives effect to one of the most hopeful attempts yet made to secure international action for the protection of animals. The great destruction of whales in antarctic seas has caused anxiety not only to those who would deplore the possible extermination of those great creatures, but also to those concerned for the future of the industry itself. In recent years, the use of ‘floating factories’, which can operate outside territorial waters, has rendered it impossible for individual Governments to control the industry in the way in which it could be controlled when the factories were on land. By a convention signed in 1931, the Governments represented on the League of Nations at Geneva bound themselves to introduce a system of licensing for all whaling ships registered in their respectrve countries, and to attach to the licences conditions giving partial or complete protection to certain species of whales. Several other nations have already ratified this convention by passing the necessary legislation, and some surprise has been expressed abroad at the long delay in obtaining ratification by Great Britain.

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