Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling further criticised by expert panel

Experts agree Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling is not justified
Monday, 3 April, 2017
Tokyo, Japan

Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program has received further criticism from international experts who found Japan does not need to kill whales for scientific research.

In a report published today, the Expert Panel appointed by the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) Scientific Committee concluded that Japan’s lethal sampling of whales was not justified. The announcement comes just three days after the Japanese whaling fleet returned to port after taking its full quota of 333 minke whales as part of its Southern Ocean ‘NEWREP-A’ whaling program.

“The bottom line is that another panel of scientific experts again found that Japan had not shown that the proposed kill of whales would yield any scientific benefits. If Japan continues to pursue its whaling agenda in the face of such overwhelming opposition, anti-whaling governments may need to bring international law to bear on Japan once more,” said Matthew Collis, Acting Director of International Environmental Agreements at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The main finding of the latest panel, which convened in Tokyo earlier this year, echoed the conclusion of the 2015 IWC Scientific Committee Expert Panel, which determined the case for killing whales in the Southern Ocean, had not been made and certain prior analyses were needed. In addition, The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan’s scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean was illegal and not for the purposes of science in 2014. The full Expert Panel report is available online in The International Whaling Commission archive.

The NEWREP-A program, announced in November 2014, aims to harpoon 333 minke whales each season in an expanded Antarctic killing zone, with a plan to kill almost 4,000 whales in 12 years.

IFAW’s 2013 report, ‘The Economics of Japanese Whaling,’ shows Japan’s failing whaling industry is propped up by millions of dollars a year in public money. Annual subsidies average around 782 million yen (US $9.78m).

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.




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