Jamie Nystrom


Both the United States and Norway have a long history of commercial whaling, but the mantle of dominance in the whaling world passed from the United States to Norway in the mid-nineteenth century. As demand for whale-based products declined in the United States over the past century, and environmentalism and conservationism became more popular public ideologies, the United States shifted from a pro-whaling nation to, effectively, an anti-whaling nation. Norway, however, has continued to be the only nation that openly engages in commercial whaling for profit, albeit on a smaller scale in comparison to historical practices. The United States’ past efforts to pressure Norway to ban whaling have been largely unsuccessful. The best way for the United States to meet long-term conservation goals with respect to imposing international regulation on Norwegian commercial whaling is to change from its current policy—trying to get Norway to stop its formal objection to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling—to working cooperatively with Norway through international law by supporting a lift on the ban and finding a scientifically sustainable quota for the yearly catch.