Bulwell MP Graham Allen, has been a long term supporter of ending commercial whaling and is pleased that the World Court has found Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling programme in the Antarctic failed to meet the conditions for scientific whaling under regulations set by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the body charged with the conservation of whales and the regulation of whaling.
“I am very glad that the World Court has decided that the whaling programme in the Antarctic cannot be deemed ‘scientific’, and that no further permits for scientific whaling should be issued under Japan’s scientific whaling programme,” said Mr Allen. “IFAW had long pushed for whales to have their day in court, and I am very pleased that justice has been served. ”This case came before the ICJ because of two decisions by the IWC; A 1986 decision to ban commercial whaling and a 1994 declaration of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, along with 30 IWC resolutions strongly criticising Japan’s whaling and asking it to stop.
Independent panels of international legal experts reviewing Japan’s scientific whaling programme have consistently found it ‘unlawful’ under international law*.
Since the global moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced, Japan has killed more than 14,000 whales in the name of science, the vast majority of these in the Southern Ocean.
Scientists at the IWC have never found a way to make whaling humane and little real science has been produced from the slaughter of whales. Scientific analysis of footage of Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean has shown whales taking more than half an hour to die.
Non-harmful research on live whales, by contrast, is producing valuable data and IFAW encourages Japan to join Australia, Brazil, the US and others in the Southern Ocean Research Partnership, which coordinates scientific research on Southern Ocean whales and their environment using effective benign techniques.
IFAW works in whaling countries to promote whale watching as a humane and sustainable alternative that is better for whales and for coastal communities.