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A critical moment for the whales of Iceland

A critical moment for the whales of Iceland

Fin whales in the Gulf of California © Christopher Swann

The fate of Iceland’s whales hangs in the balance. The last remaining whaling company in Iceland has applied for a ten-year hunting license. But there’s a glimmer of hope. The new fisheries minister, Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, has an opportunity to end the hunts once and for all. And we’re urging her to do the right thing.

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What now for the whales of Japan?

News that Shinzo Abe is stepping down as Japan’s prime minister could be another nail in the coffin for the country’s whaling industry. It offers the Japanese government a rare opportunity to press the reset button on a practice which costs it dearly, in subsidies and international reputation. Abe is Japan’s longest serving prime minister.…

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Whalers turn whale watchers

WDC and the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Environment Fund are celebrating the launch of two boats that will be dedicated to whale and wildlife watching tours. The two vessels will operate out of Barrouallie, a place better known for the hunting of pilot whales, orcas and some species of dolphins. However, since 2014, WDC has supported…

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Icelandic whaling report raises concerns

A long-anticipated report into the economic impact of Icelandic whaling has been released and raises a number of concerns.  Commissioned by the Icelandic government’s Ministry of Industries and Innovation, which includes the pro-whaling Fisheries Ministry, the report is authored by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Economic Studies, and concludes that whaling is of overall benefit to the…

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Japan officially announces intention to start commercial whaling again

Today the Japanese government confirmed its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the international body that regulates whale hunting) in order to officially resume commercial whaling.  Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said in a statement the hunts would start in July 2019. In 1982, the IWC introduced a ban on all commercial…

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Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission and start hunting whales for commercial profit

The Japanese government has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the international body that regulates whale hunting) so that it can begin hunting whales for commercial profit. In doing so, Japan has effectively turned its back on international co-operation around the regulation of whale hunting. In 1982, the IWC introduced a…

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Japan's minke whale hunt season starts under cloud of controversy

Japan’s highly controversial whaling season in the Antarctic has begun again with hunting vessels leaving the western Japanese port of Shimonoseki today. Their mission is to slaughter up to 333 minke whales through until March 2019 for research. This will be the fourth such hunt since 2015 and will take place despite their scientific value being…

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Japan faces possible trade sanctions after violating international wildlife convention’s trade rules

Japan’s import and sale of sei whales products from its controversial “scientific” whaling programme in the North Pacific has been deemed as illegal by the global body entrusted with protecting endangered species from trade. WDC has been pressing for action on this issue and our team at the annual meeting of the Convention on International Trade in…

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