Skip to content
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Science
  • Stop whaling
Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...
WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting...
We were SO close.

We were SO close.

We were so close. Because of the past couple of years, June makes me incredibly...
Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This...

EU asks Japan to cancel whale hunt programme in Antarctica

A strongly worded letter from the EU Member States has requested that Japan immediately halts it´s research whaling programme in the Southern Ocean as there was no scientific justification for the slaughter.

The scientific value of Japan’s “new” scientific whaling programme NEWREP-A, that has seen 333 minke whales killed in the 2015/16 season, had been called into question by the IWC scientific committee and heavily criticised by the IUCN. In 2014, the International Court of Justice’s ruling, had forced Japan to stop it´s previous JARPAII programme. The court came to the conclusion that this whaling was not scientific but merely commercial whale slaughter for profit.

The letter, issued by the Netherlands on behalf of EU States that are party to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, is also very critical of Japan’s decision to start its new ‘research’ hunts (NEWREP-NP) in the North Pacific in 2017 before the International Whaling Commission (the organisation that regulates whaling) will have had time to adequately review and assess the plans and their scientific value. 

Agreement had been made at the last IWC meeting, in 2016, that new proposals for so called “Special permit” research programmes would need to be reviewed by the IWC’s own scientific committee and the Commission itself first.

The letter from the EU States goes on to highlight concern over Japan’s new plans to kill even more Sei whales in the North Pacific, a move which places Japan in direct contravention of CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – an international treaty drawn up in 1973 to protect wildlife from exploitation. Japanese whalers plan to increase the number of whales it would kill by 122 compared to previous levels, 72 more minke whales and 50 more Sei whales. 

The letter concludes by underlining the fact that Japan has yet to prove to the IWC scientific committee that slaughtering whales for research is justified, and strongly urges that these hunts do not go ahead in 2017.