#AceEnvironmentNews – TOKYO – April 03 – Japan said Thursday it was cancelling its annual Antarctic whaling hunt for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, AFP reported.
The move comes in line with a UN court ruling that the program was a commercial activity disguised as science. Tokyo earlier this week said it was “deeply disappointed,” but agreed to honour Monday’s judgement by the UN’s Hague-based International Court of Justice – ANS2014 – http://wp.me/p165ui-4Bq
The next Antarctic hunt, which would have started in late 2014, has been scrapped, just weeks after the most recent one finished, officials said on Thursday.
However, they did not exclude the possibility of future whaling programs.
According to (JakartaGlobe) Tokyo has used a legal loophole in the 1986 ban on commercial whaling that allowed it to continue slaughtering the mammals, ostensibly so it could gather scientific data.
However, it has never made a secret of the fact that the whale meat from these hunts can end on dining tables.
Japan also has a coastal whaling program that is not covered by the ban.
#AceEnvironmentNews – UNITED NATIONS – March 31 – Japan’s whaling program in seas near Antarctica is not for scientific purposes, judges at the UN’s highest court ruled on Monday- RT
The International Court of Justice in The Hague also agreed with Australia that Tokyo should revoke permits to catch and kill whales for research purposes, Reuters reported.
Australia, which brought the case before the court in The Hague in 2010, had argued that Japan’s assertion that it was carrying out scientific research was to justify what was in fact pure commercial whaling.
The JARPA II research program has been going on since 2005, it has involved the killing of about 3,600 minke whales, and “the scientific output to date appears limited,” presiding Judge Peter Tomka said.
JARPA/JARPA II Research results
The JARPA∗ was conducted during the austral summer seasons from 1987/88 to 2004/05. The JARPA had four main objectives: a) estimation of biological parameters to improve the stock management of the Southern Hemisphere minke whale; b) elucidate the role of whales in the Antarctic marine ecosystem; c) elucidation of the effect of environmental change on cetaceans; and d) elucidation of the stock structure of Southern Hemisphere minke whales to improve management – http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPAResults.html