Japan Issues Permit to Whaling Fleet
The Government of Japan has issued new permits for its whale fleet to hunt whales in Antarctica and the fleet is now on its way to its hunting grounds.
The recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting saw Australia lead the opposition against Japan's proposals for commercial whaling, and Humane Society International has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to express Australia's strong opposition to whaling when he meets with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this week.
Japan hunts whales in Antarctica and sells the meat commercially. The Society says the nation's hunt is conducted:
• In defiance of the global moratorium on commercial whaling decided by the IWC in 1982 and the recent rejection of Japan's proposal to undermine it;
• In the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary declared by the IWC in 1994;
• In the Australian Whale Sanctuary declared under Australian law in 1999;
• In the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area;
• In contempt of the Australian Federal Court;
• Despite a million dollar fine from the Australian Federal Court for being in contempt of court;
• Despite a ruling from the International Court of Justice in The Hague that its scientific whaling program in Antarctica was unlawful;
• Despite repeated resolutions of concern passed at the IWC;
• Despite the IWC expressing a view in September that Japan has failed to demonstrate a scientific need to kill whales.
New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said his country is deeply disappointed that whaling continues in the Southern Ocean. “It's difficult to understand when Japan has so much to offer the world it would compromise its potential for goodwill with such an outdated practice.”