Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
More Than 260 Dolphins Washed Ashore On Peruvian Coasts

More Than 260 Dolphins Washed Ashore On Peruvian Coasts

According to officials in Peru, at least 264 dolphins were found dead over a 103km...
German Rock Band Bring Noise Pollution Message To UK

German Rock Band Bring Noise Pollution Message To UK

Popular German rock band. and long-time supporters of WDCS in Germany, Itchy Poopzkid will be...
Nice Trout Kesslet !

Nice Trout Kesslet !

Hi Everyone, Oh well, that is the beginning of my 2012 dolphin research season with...
The Big Miracle…

The Big Miracle…

Hi Everyone, You may have heard that there is a new film coming out starring...
Panel Meets To Consider Future Of Critically Endangered Whale Population

Panel Meets To Consider Future Of Critically Endangered Whale Population

 Over the next few days (12-14th Feb) the ‘Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel’, a group...
Help Protect Scotland's Whales & Dolphins !

Help Protect Scotland's Whales & Dolphins !

Hi Everyone, I was through at our Scottish Dolphin Centre on Tuesday taking some launch...
Proceeds Of New Book To Go To WDCS

Proceeds Of New Book To Go To WDCS

WDCS is delighted to announce the release of Dominion, a book co-authored by respected artist,...
Hollywood Film About Whales Trapped In Ice Opens

Hollywood Film About Whales Trapped In Ice Opens

Based on a true story surrounding the real-life events that occurred in October 1988, Big...

A new opportunity to stop Japan’s whaling?

Last Wednesday, the European Parliament voted ‘yes’ to the EU-Japan free trade agreement (or
Economic Partnership Agreement). It also agreed to a closely related strategic partnership agreement
with Japan. This marked the end of our campaign to use these trade talks to get better protection for
whales from the harpoons of Japanese whalers.

Our aim was to get the EU to use the trade negotiations as a powerful tool to put pressure on Japan to
stop its whaling and with your help we achieved a lot. We made ourselves heard within the EU and
especially the European Parliament, which is supposed to be the ‘voice of the European people’.

I blogged about our campaign last week and reflected on everything we did together – have a read, we
might not have stopped the deal going through (that was always a long-shot!) but we did achieve some
significant successes and put Japan’s whaling activities firmly on the table for these talks. I want to pass
on my thanks to everyone who supported us – we couldn’t have achieved any of it without you!

However, despite a lot of very heartening support from MEPs from different parties, who spoke out
against the agreement and for a better protection of whales, this voice of the European people failed
when it came to choosing whale welfare and conversation over a billion pound trade deal as 152 MEPs
voted against the agreement but 474 MEPs gave their consent.

I was grateful to see the Co-President of the Greens ask for a postponement of the vote in order to have
time to strengthen environmental protections in the agreement but unfortunately, his appeal was not
adopted.

Not an ideal outcome, but we have some new opportunities…

It is possible that this free trade agreement will give the EU a new chance to push hard for Japan’s whale
hunts to end. The agreement contains a chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, which calls on
the parties to the agreement to ‘effectively implement in its laws, regulations and practices the
multilateral environmental agreements to which it is party.’ In other words, it expects both parties (Japan
and the EU) to abide by international regulations. As we are all well aware, Japan has been found to be in
violation of the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the body that regulates whaling) and the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The EU can now use this trade
agreement to remind Japan of its obligations and even call for sanctions as a last resort if Japan
continues to flaunt its international responsibilities.

As I mentioned earlier, the EU also entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Japan. This
allows the EU and Japan to cooperate on areas such as energy, education, environmental matters and
climate change. The EU Parliament used this opportunity to call for an end to Japan’s whaling and trade
in whale products.

The deal has been signed but because of the immense support we have received from WDC supporters
and EU representatives over the last two years of our campaign, it doesn’t feel like all is gloom and
doom. To say it with a line from Galaxy Quest, ‘Never give up, never surrender!’ Yes, one door closed
but that won’t stop us looking for an open one. I’m looking ahead to the possibilities this new
partnership between the EU and Japan might present to us.

We’ll keep fighting for an end to the cruelty that is industrial whaling – we owe it to the whales.

I am hoping that we will continue to have your support and your voice to make the oceans safer for whales and dolphins. 

If you are able to make a donation to help fund this important work, I’d be very grateful, thank you.