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Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...

Japan seeks to circumvent the IWC to achieve support for whaling

Japan is continuing a strategy of bypassing the International Whaling Commission (the international body the regulates whale hunting) by seeking to recruit scientific support for its commercial whaling activity in the Antarctic.

Various news reports state that, on the 2nd Sept, Japan decided to reduce its Antarctic whaling programme to only hunt minke whales after strong international criticism and ban by the U.N.’s top court.

On March 31, the International Court of Justice ordered a halt to the ‘research’ whaling program in the Antarctic, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as the Japanese government had claimed.

The current program of hunts in Antarctica has a unilaterally-set quota (number of whales it can kill) of 1,035 and targets three kinds of whales – minke, fin and humpback. 

In anticipation of a renewed debate at the IWC following the heavy criticism by the International Court of Justice, Japan has sought to recruit scientific support for its hunt outside and before the meeting through a voluntary review process’

A number of country allies that have been recruited by Japan over the last few years are expected to attend at the IWC meeting to try and support Japan’s demands to renew commercial whaling.

You can follow the debates at the IWC here direct from WDC.