Japan plans to resume Antarctic Ocean whaling operations despite ban
Japan has is once again resuming its whaling operations in the Antarctic Ocean, despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that banned such controversial operations in the area.
The Japanese government is reportedly planning to resume Antarctic whaling efforts in early next year under the guise of gathering scientific data. Greg Hunt, Australia’s minister for the environment, was quick to dismiss the idea, saying the concept of killing whales for so-called scientific research could not be accepted in any form.
Criticizing the plans, Hunt said, “We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research’. There is no need to kill whales in the name of research. Non-lethal research techniques are the most effective and efficient method of studying all cetaceans.”
Whale meat was once a staple of the Japanese diet. In the post-war era, General Douglas MacArthur authorized a couple of military ships to be used as whaling ships. A generation of children in the country grew up eating whale meat. But a poll conducted in 2006 by the Nippon Research Centre found 95 per cent of people reporting low rates of whale meat consumption.
The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whale hunting in 1986; albeit with some exceptions, such as scientific research.
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