A global ban on commercial whaling went into effect in 1986. But every year, thousands of whales are killed cruelly and unnecessarily. Despite the global whaling ban, Japanese, Norwegian and Icelandic whaling fleets continue harpooning whales, subjecting them to a cruel death. Backed by their governments, but opposed by much of the world, they hunt for profit, not out of necessity or for science, as some claim. IFAW is committed to using all possible international conventions and legal strategies to end commercial whaling.
IFAW campaigns against commercial whaling
We campaign for better protection for whales at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
We reveal the sham of scientific whaling, and show that the valuable scientific research of marine mammals by scientists can be carried out without harming animals.
We expose illegal whale hunting through DNA analysis of meat from endangered whales for sale in Japan and Korea.
We uncover the truth about the failed economics of Japanese whaling and establish that whaling is able to exist only because of taxpayer subsidies.
A bid to stop Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean
In May 2010, Australia launched its case against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean in the International Court of Justice. Since then there have been written arguments presented by both sides. In November 2011, New Zealand announced its intention to intervene in the case.
The IoC will hear the case starting on 26 June 2013, with 11 days of hearings running over three weeks until the 16 July. The Court will begin with oral arguments from Australia and Japan before hearing New Zealand’s intervention on 8 July. Australia and Japan will then both be given an opportunity to comment on New Zealand’s intervention.
Stopping commercial whaling to help local economies
Commercial whaling isn’t just bad for whales, it’s bad for economies. We support the development of responsible whale watching operations as the only truly sustainable use of whales in the 21st Century.