Finally, in 1983, the EC banned the importation of pelts, meat and other products from so-called whitecoats, or newborn seals, as well as blueback hooded seal products. It was not exactly what Brian was hoping for, but he took it. Four years later, the Canadian Government banned commercial hunting of such animals in Canadian waters.
It was a victory at the time, but more work had to be done.
Hundreds of years ago, ships from all over the world sailed the seas slaughtering whales for their oil to light lamps. The communities of New Bedford and Nantucket, coincidentally not far from our headquarters here on Cape Cod, led the charge. But as fuel alternatives flourished and electric grids were established, the industry diminished and by the mid-20th century most nations had halted any remnants of this practice. When the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, all but three nations complied.
Eight years later, IFAW spearheaded international efforts to establish the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. But Japan ignored the sanctuary and continued its kill under the guise of research. More than 30 IWC resolutions strongly criticizing Japan's whaling made no impact; since the global moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced, Japan has killed more than 14,000 whales in the name of science, the vast majority of these in the Southern Ocean.