333 minke whales killed in the name of sham science
Japan confirmed it killed more than 333 minke whales during its summer hunting season in the Antarctic this year.
This comes after Australia and New Zealand proposed a resolution to subject whaling programs claimed to be ‘scientific’ to more scrutiny from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), at the Commission’s 66th meeting in October 2016.
Japan has long defended its whale hunting program in the name of science with the country issuing itself ‘special permits’ to hunt and kill whales for scientific research.
In 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Japan’s previous whaling program was not based on science and was therefore unlawful. Despite this, Japan resumed its summer hunting season in the Southern Ocean under a new program in 2015 – a move that received strong criticism from the international community.
There is no humane way to kill a whale at sea, and no scientific justification behind whaling. Any research for whale management and conservation can be done without bloodshed.
This hunting season alone, Japan’s ‘special permits’ sanctioned the killing of 333 whales.
Devastatingly, the Japanese harpoons are just one of a host of threats facing whales in our oceans, including becoming entangled in ‘ghost’ fishing gear, ship strikes, pollution and climate change.
Thanks to the resolution proposed by Australia and New Zealand, the IWC will conduct more stringent reviews of proposed ‘scientific’ programs.
World Animal Protection hopes this change is a step towards ending of commercial whaling for good and once again calls on Japan to end its whaling program.