In spite of a worldwide ban on whaling, Japanese whalers have managed to find loopholes that allow them to hunt in the name of research. Although the whalers claim that they are only killing whales as research, they also harvest and sell the meat.
The International Court of Justice recently determined that the whales being hunted by Japanese whalers in Antarctica are not being used for research purposes. The ICJ asked the whalers why they needed to kill so many whales in the name of research, but the whalers could not answer the question. The ICJ then ruled that the whalers were using the whales for commercial purposes instead of research.
The Japanese whalers have no plans to stop whaling and although they may not be allowed to hunt whales in Antarctica any longer, they have decided to start hunting them in the Pacific ocean. Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the target would be 210 Pacific whales.
"Our basic policy lies with (continuing) research whaling. Research whaling is a means to seek a way out of the current situation of moratorium by collecting scientific data. So, we aim to resume commercial whaling at the earliest possible date, by conducting research whaling," Mr Hayashi said.
The goal of Japanese whalers is to prove with their research, that there are enough whales to sustain commercial hunting.
"Following this, our country will firmly maintain its basic policy of conducting whaling for research, on the basis of international law and scientific foundations, to collect scientific data necessary for the regulation of whale resources, and aim for resumption of commercial whaling,” Hayashi continued.
Anti-whaling campaigners had hoped that the ruling would stop the senseless killing of whales, and were disappointed to hear that the whalers planned to continue their whale hunts. Many people voiced their opinions about the whale hunts on Twitter.
Why are we not surprised. Japan will conduct Pacific whale hunt despite Court ruling http://t.co/habW3QgaUX
— Madeleine Anderson (@TheAgentMaddi) April 18, 2014
— Maja Zwolsman (@Maja_Zwolsman) April 12, 2014
Environmentalism is the first step, then socialism, then finally communism. If we end this brutal hunt we are almost there. #Tweet4Taiji
— Communist Whale (@Communist_Whale) April 12, 2014
It's one thing to whale-hunt for survival like remote Inuits where they hunt one whale per family for winter under regulations from IWC.
— Sara Halim (@twirlmycurls) April 11, 2014
Bloody FAIL Japan. http://t.co/WcsyBoJ0Ri
— Kenneth Chong (@maughams) April 18, 2014
Do you think the Japanese whalers should be allowed to hunt whales in the Pacific ocean after being told they are not allowed to do so in Antarctica?
Image via Wikimedia Commons