JAPANESE WHALERS IGNORE SCIENCE AND THE LAW SO AUSTRALIA MUST SEND A SHIP TO MONITOR THE WHALING FLEET
Following its announcement over the weekend that it intends to return to whaling in the Southern Ocean, Japan has now released its revised whaling plan (called “NEWREP-A”) which it incorrectly claims has addressed the critique of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) Scientific Committee.
The IWC Scientific Committee reviewed Japan’s NEWREP-A whaling plan in June this year, which replaces the previous plan JARPA II after the International Court of Justice found the JARPA II program was unscientific and therefore contrary to international law. The Scientific Committee’s report found that Japan’s new proposal did not have sufficient information to justify the kill for lethal research. Following this critique, Japan was to review its proposal and take on board the comments of the Committee.
Humane Society International (HSI) Director, Michael Kennedy, said “It is clear that Japan is determined not to listen to science or the law. Remarkably, after reviewing the quota and comments by the Scientific Committee, Japan has arrived at the very same quota of minke whales that it originally took to the Scientific Committee – 333 minke whales.
“Japan also asserts that they have reduced their quota. This is a slight of hand as in the last few whaling seasons Japan has failed to reach its full quota. Therefore if Japan sticks to this quota, we may well see an increase in the number of whales killed. Japan is also arguing that the planned whaling will have conservation benefits by providing age data needed for estimations of Antarctic minke populations, an argument that is too transparent for the international community to take seriously,” Mr Kennedy continued.
“With HSI bringing successful contempt of court proceedings only this month against Japanese Whaling Company Kyodo for killing whales in Australian Antarctic Waters, setting significant precedents in Australian law, HSI calls on the Australian Government to act swiftly and send an Australian vessel to monitor the Japanese whaling fleet. HSI’s recent victory in court, the first successful contempt case resulting in the biggest fine ever imposed under Commonwealth environmental law ($1 million), would surely demand such follow-up enforcement action from the Australian Government?” Mr Kennedy concluded.