Japan prohibits “scientific” whaling
The International Court of Justice challenging the scientific value of the Japanese program in the Southern Ocean. But Japan wants to continue his “research” in the North Pacific.
The Nisshin Maru, the Japanese factory ship skinning whales are hunted the waters of the sanctuary in the Southern Ocean (see map below). Thus, decided by the International Court of Justice ( ICJ) in The Hague, March 31.
Provided by Australia and New Zealand, the UN tribunal held that hunting by Japan ( authorized by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946 ) was not scientific and therefore violated the moratorium established since 1986 and prohibiting the killing of whales for commercial purposes.
The JARPA II ( Japanese Whale Research Program Second under Special Permit in the Antarctic ) program , who claimed in 2005 to study the ecosystem of the Antarctic , its whale stocks and competition between species. The choice of sample sizes and the launch date of JARPA II do not obey purely scientific considerations.
He was accompanied by special permit allowing the annual harvest of 850 to 935 Antarctic minke whales, 50 humpback whales and 50 fin whales, the latter species being endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN.
” The selection of sample size and the launch date of JARPA II do not obey purely scientific ” but rather ” political, logistical ” and ” financial ” , said the court, relying in particular on the work the biomathematician Marc Mangel , director of the Centre for Research on the evaluation of stocks on the stock assessment of the University of California.
In 2005, without waiting for the results of JARPA I program, Japan had doubled its objectives catch minke whales – ? Unthreatened but very appreciated sashimi – ? Without providing evidence of the interest of this decision.
Other arguments of the ICJ: the unlimited nature of this activity over time and lack of cooperation with other research programs.
The well-argued ICJ judgment puts an end to a long hypocrisy … but not scientific whaling! Because Japan will continue its “research” in the North Pacific ( against which no complaint has been filed) , where he launched the JARPN programs ( in 1994 ) and JARPN II ( in 2000). The latter, more opaque and less publicized than JARPA authorizes the annual catch of 850 ? Minke, 50 ? Bryde’s whales and 10 ? Whales . Plus taking a hundred ? Sei whales ( an endangered species ), according to statements made by the International Whaling Commission.
A final program ” ? Scientific fishing ? ” on the coast of Japan, quietly launched in 2002, has even more unclear objectives and put to death between 50 and 100 minke whales each year. The market for whale meat, heavily subsidized, is in decline, say economists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare ( IFAW) , who consider that the obstinacy of the whale ” ? For nationalistic and cultural reasons? ” Does can hardly endure.
For their part, Iceland and Norway have abandoned scientific whaling in 1989 and 1994 to resume commercial whaling, braving the moratorium. Iceland, where there remains a big whale, punctures annually a hundred fin whales – endangered – … for the Japanese market.