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Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Nearly 500 whales die in New Zealand

https://au.whales.org/2022/10/14/nearly-500-whales-die-in-new-zealand/
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  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings

Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year. The common minke whale is the...
Port River dolphins

New report reveals 100,000 dolphins and small whales hunted every year

When you hear the words ‘dolphin hunts’ it’s likely that you think of Japan or...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...

End the whale hunts! Icelandic fin whaler isolated as public mood shifts

Here’s a sight I hoped never again to witness. A boat being scrubbed and repainted...

Australian Government to block Japanese whaling proposal

Japanese Government officials have reportedly confirmed that they will propose the resumption of commercial whaling...

Pregnant whales once again a target for Japanese whalers

Figures from Japan's whaling expedition to Antarctica during the 2017/18 austral summer have revealed that...

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...

Icelandic whalers breach international law and kill iconic, protected whale by mistake

Icelandic whalers out hunting fin whales for the first time in three years appear to...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf,  announced today that it will resume fin whaling...

Japanese whaling ships return in face of international political storm

After more than four months at sea, Japan’s whaling ships have returned from their controversial annual hunt having killed 333 minke whales (155 males and 178 females) in Antarctic waters for what they claim are scientific purposes. Japan uses this so-called ‘research’ reason to exploit a loophole in the international ban on commercial whaling. 

However, the hunts have attracted universal international condemnation from scientists, governments and the public. In 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled  that Japan’s Antarctic whaling programme in the Southern Ocean was illegal and had to stop as it had failed to yield any meaningful scientific results.

As recently as this January, the European Union issued a formal statement of concern regarding Japan’s whaling practices. The strongly worded letter highlighted the lack of scientific justification for the Antarctic hunts, and also criticized Japan’s decision to start new ‘research’ hunts 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. 

Japan’s whalers killed 333 minke whales in the 2015/16 Antarctic hunting season with over 90% of the adult females being pregnant.  The number of pregnant females killed this time around has not been made public. The scientific value of this slaughter has also been called into question by the IWC’s own scientific committee and heavily criticised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the global authority on the status of the natural world. 

Much of the whale meat from these ‘scientific’ hunts actually ends up on general sale in Japan and they seem intent on continuing the practice claiming it is part of the Japanese national identity. However, large-scale, industrial whaling in Japan only started after World War II when animal protein was in short supply.

“We really welcomed the strong statement from the EU but now we need to see some action”, says Astrid Fuchs, Stop Whaling programme lead at Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). “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”.

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