Japan resumes whaling

Stuff reports:

has been criticised for resuming in Antarctic waters, but the “scientific” ships could face few hurdles to continue their Southern slaughter.

On Friday, the Japanese Fisheries Agency notified the International Whaling Commission that Japan will resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season, despite an International Court of Justice recommendation last year that they cease whaling activity. …

Acting Foreign Minister Todd McClay has expressed “New Zealand’s deep disappointment at the Japanese Government’s decision.

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.

“In early 2015, the International Whaling Commission’s Expert Panel issued very clear and unambiguous recommendations that Japan postpone the lethal components of its research proposal,” McClay said. 

The International Court of Justice ruled in March last year that Japan’s decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season.

But Japan has ignored that ruling and will push ahead in the 2015/2016 season.

The new Japanese hunting plan, which calls for cutting annual minke whale catches by two-thirds to 333, is scientifically reasonable, the Japanese Fisheries Agency said in a document filed with the IWC.

333 is better than 1,000.

I don’t have a problem with whaling per se, so long as it is sustainable. However the IWC has banned whaling in the Southern Ocean on the grounds it is not sustainable there, and using scientific research as a pretext for commercial whaling is offensive. There is absolutely no research involved.

Japan should not ignore the ICJ ruling, and hopefully will reconsider under pressure. The problem is that the pressure can be counter-productive – in that they do it just to show they won’t be pressured not to. The actual commercial benefits from doing so are almost nil, so it is about cultural rights (from their view).

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