A humpback whale breaching off the coast of Massachusetts, US

Japan's whaling ambitions deemed 'inadequate' - IWC


Japan's plans to hunt 330 minke whales annually for 12 years has failed to provide adequate justification for lethal scientific research, according to the International Whaling Commission.

"The International Whaling Commission (IWC) panel’s findings highlight what we have known all along - there is no scientific justification for killing whales," said Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns for World Animal Protection in Australia.

"World Animal Protection is disappointed that even after the International Court of Justice ruling last year, Japan continues to undermine the global ban on commercial whaling.

"Japan may argue that they are reducing the number of whales killed but even one whale suffering a slow and agonising death is one whale too many."

Positive steps for whales as IWC adopts animal welfare plan

In September last year the IWC announced a plan to address major global threats to whales, which include getting trapped and entangled in fishing gear. It was proposed by the UK government with our advice and support.

A second major decision was made as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) passed a Resolution, tabled by New Zealand, regarding Japan's so-called 'scientific whaling', which was ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The proposal sets out steps that the IWC should follow when reviewing future proposals for scientific whaling, including whether the research could be achieved with non-lethal means. 

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