Resistance to Commercial Whaling
The International Jojoba Export Council opposes weakening the current moratorium on commercial whaling. The IJEC supports maximum and permanent restrictions on the production, trade, and use of whale-derived materials.
“There is nothing in the body of a whale, which is of use to us, for which we cannot find equivalents elsewhere.”
– David Attenborough
Jojoba competes with whaling. Jojoba oil is chemically very similar to whale oil. Moreover, jojoba esters, a derivative of jojoba oil, is almost identical to spermaceti, historically among the most profitable products of commercial whaling.
Specifically, both jojoba and spermaceti are very pure, long-chain wax esters. Being virtually identical in structure makes them practical substitutes for each other in virtually every commercial application. In cosmetics, especially skincare, both provide a natural, elegant emollient due to its similarity to the natural wax esters found in human skin sebum. There are no other natural alternatives with such an affinity.
“Jojoba growers are proud to offer the world a set of superior alternatives to the products of commercial whaling.”
However, the two are produced by very different means. Spermaceti and whale oil are products of commercial whaling, and require a whale to be killed. Jojoba is produced by farming in arid regions of the world. In fact, jojoba is among the most environmentally friendly components to be found in cosmetics. Jojoba provides a viable low-water alternative crop for desert-dwelling peoples all over the world. Jojoba plants are perennial – harvesting jojoba does not kill the plant, in fact, jojoba plants can live and produce for 200 years.
So the choice is clear:
Either one may source this unique moisturizer by planting jojoba in the desert or killing whales in the sea.
Decades ago, many jojoba pioneers were also anti-whaling activists. Development of jojoba during the 1970s and 80s helped to enable the commercial whaling moratorium by providing a superior alternative to whale oil and spermaceti for all applications. We do not claim to be responsible for the moratorium – this was a monumental achievement of many dedicated people – however, we are proud to have played our role. Today, our primary motivation is of course commercial, yet our support for maintaining and enforcing the worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling is absolute and unequivocal.