POLL: Should Japan face sanctions for continuing “scientific whaling”?

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Australia has thrown its weight behind a bid to outlaw large-scale commercial and so-called “scientific” at a summit next week.

The International Whaling Commission meeting in Slovenia follows ’s recent of more than 300 minke whales, many of them pregnant, when they resumed so-called scientific whaling after a hiatus because the International Court of Justice ruled the hunts were not scientific and should cease.

Australia has put forward a resolution to the conference that would require Japan to get approval from the IWC for its “scientific” quotas.

A is unloaded at a port in Kushiro, Japan, in 2013. Australia wants to curtail large-scale commercial and ‘scientific’ whaling. Photograph: AP

Japan is also expected to again face criticism from other countries for its whaling in the Southern Ocean, in defiance of the court ruling.

On Friday the federal environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, said he would call for global protection of whales, saying the government “strongly supports the global moratorium and will continue to work towards a permanent end to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling”.

“For too long, the commission has deferred responsibility for so-called ‘scientific’ whaling to its scientific committee,” Frydenberg said. “The commission must be more engaged on this important and divisive issue and form its own conclusions.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and 70 years since the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was made.

In 2008 the Australian federal court found Japanese whaling in the Australian Sanctuary to be in breach of Australian law and Japanese whaling company Kyodo was fined $1m in 2015. Attempts to recover the money have so far failed.

Kitty Block, the vice-president of the Humane Society International, which was part of the Australian legal action, said: “Japan’s unilateral resumption of its so-called ‘scientific’ hunt in the Southern Ocean last year is a slap in the face not just for the International Whaling Commission but also for the rule of law, as the international court of justice clearly ruled Japan’s previous Antarctic ‘research’ program to be illegal.”

Humane Society International program manager Alexia Wellbelove said: “With both the international courts and Australia’s federal court condemning Japan’s actions, it is time the international community at IWC strongly criticise Japan for its so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program.”

This article was first published by The Guardian on 21 Oct 2016.

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Should Japan face sanctions for continuing "scientific whaling"?

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Japan knows what they are doing and really don’t care. It shows. Try watching whaling wars. It’s revolting what they are doing.


save the world from over fishing of Whales hunters

Marc Johnson

How in the world can it be that the international community has not yet imposed financial sanctions against Japan? We are just as guilty for the deaths of these sacred beings as those who are still killing them.

neil edwards
neil edwards

The japanese are already poisoning themselves with the radioactive fallout from Fukushima,they are poisoning cetaceans with the fallout and then eating the Whales, How can you try to reason with people with such limited intelligence?

Janet Kenedy


george mira

Yes. The great ocean species like the sperm whale, the humpback, the fin, the blue whales off our Pacific coasts (which so farr remain endangered), the Bowhead and “right whales of the North & South Atlantic, all have begun their repopulation back from the foul 200 year attack on their existences. This shows that with greater effort the giant bluefin tuna, the 6 foot cod, the 18 foot hammerheads and lemon sharks whose similar ancestors lived for 420-450 Million years until my youth, can still return. There remain some severe problems in which Japan and other East Asian nations are… Read more »

Mark McCandlish
Mark McCandlish

The nation of Japan should be ashamed of itself. But it may turn out that sanctions will not work or be necessary, since the 88,000 gallons of radioactive Cesium-laced water TEPCO has been dumping into the Pacific Ocean every day since March of 2011 will kill all the whales in the oceans within ten years. (Along with everything else)- including the phytoplankton that produces most of the world’s oxygen supply. Yes to sanctions!

george mira

Eastern USA is clamoring for more nuke reactors, which are ALL sited nest to large water sources. that nuke fuel is dug up in Western Australia, NW Canada, Western and NorhtCentral USA, and West Africa for some. It seems that almost no humans are paying attention to what is happening in the mining areas that poisons and cancers the indigenous, including the humans. EVERY nuke plant commonly vents small amounts of radioactive materials into the air around them. Since the amounts are small, the stochastic poisoning effects only take a small percentage of the living nearby, but it does take… Read more »


Japan annually clubs on ice smart innocent dolphins to death after trapping them in coves for vo valid reason whatsoever. They think calling something cultural justifies it but that is no excuse for slaughtering do,Orin’s that the rest of the world want protected. Boycott all things Japanese until they learn respect for nature.


“Scientific research” is bull****! And pregnant females? Their ability to continue their ‘studies’ with the sanctions is throwing the same bull in the face of the world.


YES!!! And the world needs to boycott their farce of an Olympics. Japan is doing nothing but showing the world how ugly they are

Nancy Griffin
Nancy Griffin

Yes, Japan needs to realize that times have changed, and they need to change with the times or face difficulties like sanctions. I am tired of their continued disregard of the world’s opinion of their actions. They should work on stopping the Fukushima Reactor from leaking – now that’s a problem for the world as well. Enough!

george mira

One thing cool about Japan: their population is down from its 2010 peak of about 128.1 million to 126.9. Every nation should do this, but crazed economists measure nations validity by growth INCREASE, not just growth. The basic problem that has emptied the oceans is excess humans from everywhere. Japan just became an industrial trading nation using corporate colonialism , eating Siberian, Canadian, US, Indonesian forests in the last century. It was General MacArthur in 1945 who instituted Japanese whaling industry – before that they only butchered the local intelligent cetaceans around them. Now they reach across the north Pacific… Read more »


Which has the greater power – the International Court of Justice or the International Whaling Commission?


This country thinks it is above everyone else and laws do not apply to them. I have no respect for this culture and will never buy a car made in Japan or anything else that I know of. I cancelled a trip 4 years ago to this country. I also think people should notify cruise lines and do whatever is possible to hurt tourism to this country. People in Japan need to speak up!

george mira

It seems you need to study the local ecological effects of cruise ships. You better cancel cruise ships too.

Paul Seligman

This poll will have little, if any, effect. But you can do something more positive. This week, i received an email from the Japanese Tourism Organization UK. I replied telling them that due to Japan’s continuing slaughter of whales and dolphins, I had abandoned all plans to travel to their country. I included a choice image of dolphin slaughter from Taiji. One email received is an eccentric. Thousands of personally constructed messages are a concern.

Over to you.

george mira

Polls don’t have effects; moral norms have no effects; ecological collapse, individuals? love?
Neither – only large amounts of money do.
What a weird, twisted species . . .

Michele Jankelow
Michele Jankelow

Accountability Japan! You violate the ocean time and time again! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Whaling, Dolphins, Tuna – it never stops!