Japan confirms that it will quit IWC (International Whaling Commission) to resume commercial whaling in July next year.

Since 1986 it has been banned the commercial whaling by IWC. It is a global agreement signed by around 80 countries in the world. Yet, countries like Japan, Russia, Denmark, and Iceland have continued the Commercial whaling where they have shown disagreement to the ban.

According to iflscience, Japan has regularly defied the ban and continued whaling activities under the guise of “scientific research”. As per the latest statistics from IWC, it has shown that Japan has killed 333 whales and out of them, 120 whales were pregnant. This has happened in Antarctic waters during the period of December to February 2017/2018 season.

In a new announcement, the government of Japan has legitimately declared its withdrawal from the IWC, claiming that whale stocks have turned back to good healthy levels. In Japan, whale meat is part of their old tradition. Especially for communities near the coastal area. However, most of the consumers have lost their interest in tasting whale meat. Generally, whale hunting has taken place in Japan’s own territory and special economic zone in their Pacific waters. To be precise, it is prohibited to carry out commercial whaling in Antarctic waters because of Antarctic Treaty. All the economic activities are prohibited in this area.

However, some conservationists are not agreed and happy with the decision. Greenpeace has accused Japan of being “sneaky” by trying to slip in the declaration towards the end of the year around the holiday period, expecting the controversial move won’t pick up too much care from the wider world.

“It’s clear that the government is trying to sneak in this announcement at the end of the year away from the spotlight of international media, but the world sees this for what it is,” Sam Annesley, According to Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan

“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,” he added.
“As a result of modern fleet technology, overfishing in both Japanese coastal waters and high seas areas has led to the depletion of many whale species. Most whale populations have not yet been recovered, including larger whales such as blue whales, fin whales, and sei whales.”

It is evident that there is a political backlash from the international community. The government of Australia has criticized Japan towards the whale activity. Therefore, they have even released a statement condemning the withdrawal, saying they are “extremely disappointed.”

“The International Whaling Commission plays a crucial role in international cooperation on whale conservation,” Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, and environment minister, Melissa Price, wrote in a joint statement.

“Their decision to withdraw is regrettable and Australia urges Japan to return to the Convention and Commission as a matter of priority.”

Japan mentioned it will also continue to cooperate with the IWC as an “observer”.

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