Japan to resume commercial whaling
Publish date: 08 January 2019
Issue Number: 587
Diary: Legalbrief Environmental
Japan is facing international condemnation after confirming it will resume commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years. According to a report in The Guardian, the country’s fleet will resume commercial operations in July. Government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga said the country’s fleet would confine its hunts to Japanese territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, adding that its controversial annual expeditions to the Southern Ocean – a major source of diplomatic friction between Tokyo and Canberra – would end. Its decision prompted criticism from conservationists and other nations including the UK and Australia. Greenpeace disputed Japan‘s view that whale stocks have recovered, noting also that ocean life is being threatened by pollution as well as overfishing. ‘The declaration today is out of step with the international community, let alone the protection needed to safeguard the future of our oceans and these majestic creatures,’ said Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan. Japan will join Iceland and Norway in openly defying the ban on commercial whale hunting.