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Russia seizes Japanese whaling vessel

The Japan Times leads with a report that ‘Russia has seized a Japanese research whaling ship in the Sea of Okhotsk on suspicion of intruding into Russian territorial waters, government sources said on Friday. The 712-ton Shonan Maru No. 2 left Japan on Aug. 8 to examine whales in the Sea of Okhotsk at the…

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Japan’s Pacific whale hunt ends with 115 whales dead

Japanese whaling vessels have concluded a two and a half month whale hunt in the Pacific, killing 115. Japanese fisheries representatives have reportedly confirmed that 90 Sei whales and 25 Bryde’s whales were slaughtered in the second whale hunt of its kind conducted since the United Nations’ highest court ruled that Japan must halt a…

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Japanese schoolchildren watch whalers slice up a whale

Unabashed by the recent the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling ordering Japan to halt its so-called ‘scientific whaling’ programme in Antarctic waters, Japanese whalers last week invited dozens of schoolchildren in the town of Wada (100km south of Tokyo) to watch the grisly spectacle of them cutting up a 30-foot Baird’s beaked whale caught…

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30 whales killed in first Japanese hunt since international court ban

A Japanese coastal whaling fleet killed 30 minke whales between April and June according the country’s fisheries agency. The hunts, part of Japan’s northwestern Pacific ‘research’ programme, are the first since an international court ordered a halt to its annual whaling expedition in the Antarctic, calling in to question the scientific value of such a…

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The whale hunters killing in the name of Science

On a day when the Japanese Prime Minister once again pledged the Japanese taxpayer to foot an increasingly costly programme to reopen Antarctic whaling, the BBC is reflecting on British whaling in Antarctica and its place in history. The contrast could not be more real. One country with a tradition of whaling, the UK, consigning…

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WTO rules that animal welfare trumps trade

On Thursday, 22nd May 2014, the World Trade Organisation upheld  the European Union’s ban on the import of seal pelts, oil and meat on moral grounds. Canada and Norway had previously challenged the ban. The fundamental point of this ruling is that trade issues cannot trump concerns over animal welfare and conservation. The ruling comes…

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Japanese whalers aim to continue whale hunts despite court ban

The group that conducts Japan’s whaling says it expects to resume its hunts in the Antarctic after this year’s hunt was cancelled following an order by an international court. In the summer of 2013, the Australian government took Japan to the court in a bid to expose the true nature Japanese so-called ‘scientific’ research programme under which…

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Who speaks for the Japanese people when it comes to whaling?

Policymakers should be careful what messages they are listening to coming out of Japan at the moment. I would argue that they should definitely be careful of the proclamations of the Intitute of Cetacean Research (ICR). The ICR is not the Japanese Government and is definately not representative of the Japanese people. The Website of the…

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