Greenpeace Opposes Japan’s Proposed Return to Commercial Whaling

Friday, December 21, 2018

Japanese scientists research
caudal mink whale fin

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The environmental group Greenpeace condemned Japan’s decision to resume commercial whaling, which Tokyo will likely announce before the end of the year.

“This is a grave mistake which is out of step with the rest of the world,” said Sam Annesley, the executive director of Greenpeace Japan. “Greenpeace urges the government of Japan to reconsider its decision.”

Japan plans to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission for 2019. The IWC is an international body that manages the conservation of whale populations. It has maintained a moratorium on all commercial whaling since the 1980s, which Japan, Iceland and Norway object to.

Japan has been hunting whales for centuries and has continued to do so during the moratorium by issuing scientific permits. Some argue, however, that such scientific permits merely serve as a cover for commercial whaling.

“The Japanese government has a history of failing to work with the IWC on conservation initiatives designed to protect and recover whale species, many of which are yet to return to healthy population numbers since commercial whaling was ended over 30 years ago,” said Annesley.

Whale meat has been available in Japan throughout the duration of the ban, but demand for the meat is currently extremely low. However, Japan insists for cultural and political reasons that controlled whaling should be allowed.

It has been reported that the planned commercial whaling would be limited to Japan’s coastal waters and exclusive economic zone. Additionally, the minke whale, which is a main species hunted by Japanese whalers, is not endangered. Nonetheless, Greenpeace strongly disagrees with Japan’s decision.

“We hope that Japan will reverse its decision and take its place beside the nations trying to undo the damage human activities have done to whale populations,” said Annesley.

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