Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in 2019 to pave the way for the resumption of commercial whaling for the first time in about three decades, the government said on Wednesday, a decision likely to draw international condemnation.
Tempers flared at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on Thursday as it voted to back a Brazilian proposal which would safeguard whales in perpetuity, after a bitter debate. The biennial meeting of the 89-nation body passed the host country's “Florianopolis Declaration” which sees whaling as no longer being a necessary economic activity.
An effort to create a safe haven for whales in the South Atlantic was defeated at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Florianopolis, Brazil. The proposal, which was introduced by Brazil in 2001, received support from 39 countries but was opposed by 25, denying it the three-quarters' majority it needed to pass.
Pro and anti-whaling nations locked horns on Monday as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) began meeting in Brazil amid outrage over Japan's proposal to end a three-decade moratorium on commercial whale hunting.
Australia and other anti-whaling nations are seeking a showdown with Japan as Tokyo attempts to resume commercial whaling later this year. Japanese officials have reportedly confirmed the country's attempt to alter voting rules and allow hunting of whale species with healthy numbers at an International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Brazil in September.
Japan’s declining appetite for whale meat is nothing new; but is the country also losing patience with its whaling industry? The answer apparently is yes, according to a new report that highlights the huge cost to the Japanese taxpayer of sustaining its whaling fleet. Without government subsidies, the industry would collapse, it said.
South Korea said on Wednesday that it planned to start whaling through a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research, following the lead of Japan's controversial expeditions.
New Zealand joined Australia in criticizing Japan’s decision to resume whaling in Antarctic waters later this year and Tokyo's announcement that it will increase security for its whaling fleet.
US President Barack Obama announced diplomatic measures to be taken by the United States against Iceland in condemnation of its whaling activities.
The Japanese whaling fleet has called an early end to its whaling season in Antarctica a move which conservationists tentatively say could spell an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean. But Greenpeace Japan said there were other reasons to halt “scientific whaling”.