Japan kills 333 whales in annual hunt

by   Profile Herbert   When 1st April 2017
Minke whale (c) NOAA
Whaling (c) Mark Votier / WDC
Whaling (c) Mark Votier / WDC
Whaling (c) Mark Votier / WDC
Japanese whaling ship (c) Mark Votier / WDC

Whales supposedly killed for "research" purposes

After four months at sea, the Japanese whaling fleet has returned from
its controversial annual hunt, with a bounty of 333 minke whales (155
males and 178 females), killed for what they claim to be scientific

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) is calling for an end to these hunts.

Despite international protests by scientists, governments and the
general public, these hunts have been taking place for years. In 2014,
the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided that Japan's Antarctic
whaling programme was illegal, and did not comply with the requirements
of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In addition, Japan does
not have the IWC's approval for the follow-up programme.

In January 2017, the European Union (EU) issued a formal statement
expressing its concern over Japan's whaling practices. The letter
highlighted the lack of scientific justification for the hunts and
criticised Japan's decision to start new hunts (which they claimed to
be for research purposes) in the North Pacific in 2017. As the next
meeting of the IWC will only take place in 2018, the members would not
have time to properly review and assess the plans and their scientific
value in advance.

“We really welcomed the strong statement from the EU but now we need to see some action,” said Astrid Fuchs, WDC's Stop Whaling programme lead. “The
EU is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan. We urge
them to make whaling a topic in the next round of talks which will be
held in Tokyo this April. There should be no agreement until Japan
stops its whaling and abides by international conventions.”

In the 2015/16 season, Japanese whalers killed 333 minke whales; over
90% of the females were pregnant. The scientific value of the hunts is
also called into question by the IWC's own scientific committee and
strongly criticised by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN).

More information: www.whales.org

See also:
Japan seeking to get whaling ban overturned
Whales: The killing continues

Written by
Profile Herbert
When 1st April 2017
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