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Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
minke whale breaching

Norway urged to abandon plans to experiment on captured whales

WDC has teamed up with the Animal Welfare Institute and NOAH (Norway's largest NGO for...

Captivity ‘done and dusted’ in Australian state

The new regulations were introduced by NSW environment minister Matt Kean and followed inquiry into...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling

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...

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...

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...

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...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial whale hunting at the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the global body that regulates whale hunts) as, according to Japanese government representatives, some whale populations have become large enough to justify the killing.

Japan currently gets around the ban on commercial whaling by claiming that their existing hunts are for scientific research, despite the fact that most of the meat ends up on commercial sale and little scientific value comes from the hunts themselves. According to this ‘research’, the Japanese government claims that populations of humpback and fin whales in the Antarctic are recovering at a rate sufficient to allow them to be slaughtered.

It is also reported that Japan will propose to change the decision making process at the IWC to make it easier for this controversial proposal to pass. Currently a three-quarters majority is needed to make the proposed changes, so it is claimed that Japan will ask to amend the rules so that a simple majority would suffice.

Astrid Fuchs, whaling programme lead at WDC says: “This announcement doesn´t come us a surprise. Conservation governments need to stay alert. The ban on commercial whaling is the one of the biggest success stories in species conservation and we shouldn´t take it for granted. In fact, we are constantly fighting to keep it in place.”

Over the last decades, Japan has made several attempts to overturn the international ban on commercial whaling and is constantly pumping money into recruiting new countries to support their whaling plans at the IWC. While it is unlikely that their proposal will succeed, we need to make sure the moratorium continues to stay in place and work towards closing the remaining loopholes explains Fuchs. “Whales face a multitude of man-made threats such as climate change, overfishing, pollution and habitat loss. Whale hunts are cruel and whale populations are far from being safe. Instead of discussing the resumption of commercial whaling, Japan should join international efforts to protect whales, dolphins and the oceans”.

WDC is fighting to STOP whaling. DONATE and help.