2nd April 2014
Some 40,000 whales have been killed in defiance of the ban on commercial whaling introduced in 1986, with over 15,000 whales slaughtered for so-called ‘scientific research’.
Today, while Norway and Iceland are openly defying this ban by conducting commercial whaling operations in the north-Atlantic, Japan has continued to kill hundreds of whales every year for over two decades in ‘scientific’ whaling programmes condemned as little more than commercial whaling in disguise.
However now at last, in a landmark case brought by Australia and backed by New Zealand, the International Court of Justice has ruled Japan’s notorious ‘scientific’ whaling in Antarctica is a commercial operation, is therefore illegal and must be halted. A shocked Japanese Government has said it will abide by this decision, but that remains to be seen.
Campaign Whale fears that even if this ruling is respected it may prove costly for whales elsewhere. This is because Japan also conducts ‘scientific’ whaling in the north Pacific, killing hundreds of whales there every year. This whaling operation remains unaffected by the ICJ ruling and could even be increased as a result of it.
It is to be hoped that the Japanese Government will respect the ICJ ruling and abandon its cynical ‘scientific’ whaling charade, but a long history of defiance suggests otherwise. It is likely that the Japanese Government will simply devise another ‘research’ plan for Antarctica and so return to the Southern Ocean, a designated whale sanctuary, to kill even more whales in the near future.
Meanwhile, even if all of Japan’s whaling on the high seas were finally to end, the horrific slaughter of thousands of dolphins and other small whales in Japan’s coastal waters every year is set to continue regardless. Campaign Whale will continue to fight for the protection of all whales and an end to all whaling