Notwithstanding all international criticism, Japanese whaling ships have started again today in the direction of the Antarctic. By the end of March, up to 333 minke whales are said to be caught for „scientific research“ in the Southern Ocean, according to the Ministry of Fisheries.
Thus, the fleet broke for the fourth time in 2014 after the prohibition of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2014. After the judges had ruled that whaling was not scientific, Tokyo had suspended it for a year.
Killing „for science“
Every year, Japan kills hundreds of whales, officially for science. However, after an inspection of the animals – such as their stomach contents – their meat is offered for sale for consumption. This is formally allowed, despite the global whaling moratorium that has been in force since 1986. The number three in the world economy pursues the political goal of allowing the commercial hunting of large whales to return.
In October, the members of the CITES Convention at Sochi, Russia, declared that Japan was violating international agreements with its whaling activities. Japan says that individual whale species such as the minke whales have recovered significantly.
Japan is considering leaving the Whaling Commission
No endangered species would be hunted. Out of frustration over the existing whaling moratorium, Japan is considering withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Only in September had Japan failed at the IWC meeting with a request for the resumption of commercial whaling.
In addition to Japan, mainly Iceland and Norway are whaling, both for commercial purposes. Norway – the country that hunts most of the whales – had objected to the moratorium, Iceland Reservations filed.