Japan unveils new plans to kill hundreds of whales in Antarctica
Humane Society International (HSI) has today condemned the release of Japan’s Proposed Research Plan for New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A), just months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s scientific whaling program in the Antarctic was not based on science and thus undermined the moratorium on commercial whaling.
In an attempt to address the ICJ judgment Japan has proposed lower quotas, targeting one species and including non-lethal research methods. It still seeks, however, to kill hundreds of whales each year in an Antarctic whale sanctuary in the name of science under a revised version of a program that has not only killed close to 3,600 whales and yielded no scientific data since its inception, but whose main purpose is the resumption of commercial whaling.
“Japan’s continued insistence in pushing ahead with unnecessary, unethical so-called ‘research’ is simply a means of supporting their long-term aim of resuming commercial whaling,” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “This is despite the UN’s highest court, the International Court of Justice ruling that their program undermined the commercial whaling moratorium.”
“The killing of 333 whales per year is still far too many unnecessary deaths in an Antarctic whale sanctuary. It is now time that Japan listened to international public opinion and consigned their so-called research program and plans to resume commercial whaling to history where it belongs,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
The NEWREP-A plan proposes to kill 333 Antarctic minke whales per year for 12 years from the end of 2015.
Continued hunting of whales in Australia’s Antarctic territorial waters is also a breach of the Humane Society International-obtained Federal Court Order, the injunction secured in January 2008 against Japanese whale hunts in Australia’s Antarctic territorial waters. The injunction was obtained against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., the company responsible for whaling in the Southern Ocean.