Whale populations have rebounded so strongly since the 1986 global ban on commercial whaling that the International Whaling Commission is considering loosening it. The IWC is mulling a compromise proposal that would condone whaling by ban-defying nations Norway, Iceland, and Japan in return for a reduction in the number of whales killed.
The proposal has been slammed by conservationists who argue that climate change and human activity pose ongoing danger to whales, despite their healthier numbers. "Whales face more threats today than at any time in history," the global whale program director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare tells the Washington Post. "The last thing they need is a compromise agreement that seems to keep commercial whaling alive."