The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and Birth of the IWC:
As whales were beginning to disappear across the globe, some nations became increasingly concerned about the survival of whales, and in their own self interest, the survival of the whaling industry. In the 1930's the first convention on whaling occurred to try and establish guidelines and regulations that would help to sustain the whaling industry without completely eliminating all of the whales. In Washington, D.C. On December 2, 1946 an agreement of 42 nations resulted in the signing of The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
This convention helped to establish the International Whaling Commission (IWC) whose stated goal is "to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry". The agreement went into affect two years later on November 10, 1948.
Among the 42 nations to sign the agreement were whaling giants Norway and Japan along with the UK, Australia, The Soviet Union, France, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, the United States, and others. The map below illustrates member nations.