Japan has regularly sought an easing of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) prohibition on commercial whaling and continues to kill the animals under what it calls a “scientific research” programme despite international criticism.
At September’s IWC meeting in Brazil, Tokyo has said it plans to “propose setting a catch quota for species whose stocks are recognised as healthy by the IWC scientific committee”.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was concerned by the proposal.
“We strongly support the 30-year global moratorium on commercial whaling and will vehemently oppose any attempts to undermine the processes that support it,” she said.
This included “through changed voting regimes or the establishment of catch-limits for commercial whaling”.
“At the commission meeting in September, Australia will be calling on like-minded nations to reject Japan’s proposal,” she added.
Hideki Moronuki, an official in charge of whaling at Japan’s fisheries agency, told AFP in June the proposal would not specify which whale species and how many mammals Japan wants to hunt.
But he said the IWC classifies several species as no longer depleted.
Japan also plans measures to change the body’s decision-making process, lowering the threshold for proposals to pass from three quarters of members to half.
Tokyo claims its “scientific research” is necessary to prove whale populations are large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting, but Bishop said this was not correct.
“The science is clear, you do not need to kill whales in order to study them,” she said.
Japan makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables, despite a significant decline in the popularity of whale meat.
During its most recent annual whale hunt, Japan reported it caught 333 minkes, 122 of which were pregnant, sparking outrage among conservationists.
Japanese officials said the high rate of pregnant whales showed the strength of the minke population. DM
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
The sound of Krakatoa exploding travelled around the earth three times.