Japan Goes Back to the Drawing Board to Resume Whaling

A humpback  whale. (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
A humpback whale. (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)

Japan is pushing to revive their Antarctic whaling again. The International Whaling Commission set up a panel of experts that has rejected it saying: “The present proposal contains insufficient information for the Panel to complete a full review”.

Japan’s new program, NEWREP-A (New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean), proposed to kill up to 333 minke whales each year until 2027.There will also be an increased effort in “non-lethal” research methods. But the body of the proposed program still centers on the lethal sampling of minke whales.

Japan plans new Antarctic whale hunt, but vows to slash quota:

The report will now go before the IWC’s full scientific committee, and Japan’s IWC Commissioner, Joji Morishita, said it would try to convince the committee to approve the plan.

“The scientific committee is more political than the panel,” he told Associated Press. “I won’t be surprised if we face some countries that oppose our plans, not because of science. But we hope to work toward a resumption [of whaling] at the end of the year,” The Sydney Morning Herald said on their website.

In Japan’s justifications for the level of lethal sampling in its proposed program is a statement: “As there is no other means than lethal methods, at this stage, the use of lethal method is indispensable to obtain age data, which is necessary for estimating the age at sexual maturity.” This, Japan states, is important for estimating how many whales can be taken each year if commercial harvesting resumes, IFL Science said.

Under  the NEWREP-A plan, Japan is proposing to kill 330 minke whales annually in the 12 year program, which is a total of 3996 whales, and let’s not forget the nearly 10,000 already taken under its previous scientific permits.

Just feet away from their boat, humpbacks breach for a school of shoal. (Screenshot/Youtube)

Just feet away from their boat, humpbacks breach for a school of shoaling fish. (Screenshot/Youtube)

There are currently 88 countries in the International Whaling Commission under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

It’s not widely known that countries can issue permits to themselves to kill whales for scientific research.

Two examples would be Norway and Iceland, both of which continue to take whales commercially, having lodged objections to the commercial whaling moratorium.

Japan declares its whale hunting in the Antarctic is back on:

The expert panel was so unconvinced by Japan’s arguments for lethal sampling they stated: “With the information presented in the proposal, the Panel was not able to determine whether lethal sampling is necessary to achieve the… major objectives; therefore, the current proposal does not demonstrate the need for lethal sampling to achieve those objectives.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on his visit to Australia last year: “Japan, looking at international law and scientific grounds, will engage in research of whaling in order to collect the indispensable scientific information in order to manage the whale resources.”

Whose Satellites Are Spying on Russia?
China Has a New Internet Weapon Against Freedom of Speech