U.S. Department of Commerce



Alfred Berzin

Date of this Version



A Special Issue of the Marine Fisheries Review. Translated from Russian by Yulia V. Ivashchenko.


In November 1993, Professor Alexei Yablokov, who at the time was the Science Advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, stood on a podium in Galveston, Tex., and delivered a speech to the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s biennial conference, the premier international event in the field of marine mammal science. Addressing the 1,500 scientists present, he made what amounted to a national confession: that, beginning in 1948, the U.S.S.R. had begun a huge campaign of illegal whaling. Despite being a signatory to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (signed in Washington, D.C., just 2 years before in 1946), the Soviets set out to pillage the world’s oceans.