Whaling, of course, is the IWC's middle name, and the approach of its Secretariat and Head of Science thus far suggest the Scientific Committee, which tolerated Japan's illegal whaling for more than two decades before the ICJ judgment's inconvenient truth, is probably not the body that is going to bring Japan's whaling to an end.
The full Commission itself has already taken action to ban commercial whaling, imposing an indefinite moratorium on the practice in 1986, following engaged lobbying and inspiring personal leadership from then-US President Ronald Reagan.
Thirty years later, it still takes efforts outside the IWC to make any progress within it. Engaged personal leadership from Barack Obama and John Kerry, arguably the most ocean-centered President and Secretary of State in US history, may ultimately be needed to deliver on the full promise of last year's unprecedented ICJ ruling.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the White House on April 28.
Given the fundamental importance of our bilateral relationship with Japan, there will be many issues on the agenda during the Prime Minister's visit. Encouraging Abe-san and the nation he leads to continue non-lethal whale research and make the same migration the US and so other many other former whaling nations have made can help ensure Antarctic waters never again run red.