Japan to resume whaling in Antarctic despite court rulings

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ruled that Japan must immediately stop its whaling earlier this year

Shehab Khan
Saturday 28 November 2015 11:02
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Researchers check a minke whale at Ayukawa port in Ishinomaki
Researchers check a minke whale at Ayukawa port in Ishinomaki

Japan has announced it will resume hunting whales in the Antarctic despite court rulings.

The Japanese Fisheries Agency notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that it will resume whaling in the summer, after a break of more than a year.

The announcement also included plans to reduce the number of minke whales caught each year by two thirds to just over 300.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had ruled that Japan must immediately stop its whaling earlier this year. An expert panel voted in favour of Australia’s claim that Japan’s whaling was not being carried out for scientific purposes.

The ICJ had concluded that the research could be conducted using non-lethal means but Japan argues the age of whales can only be obtained via lethal methods.

Japan's IWC commissioner, Joji Morishita, said the Japanese Government had "taken into account" all the recommendations put forward when coming to the decision to recommence whaling, in a letter published by the IWC.

Japan began scientific whaling in 1987 and argues that most whale species are not endangered and the population is large enough to allow sustainable whaling.

The meat from the marine mammals is processed into food.

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