Source: Nikkei Asian Review
The Japanese government has declared that it will propose resuming commercial whaling at the September meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Brazil. Japan will make the case that scientific evidence suggests that populations of some whale species have recovered to the point where the hunt would constitute sustainable use of marine resouces. The IWC’s moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1982.
The proposal is apparently a direct result of the legal “Scientific Whale Research Program” that the Japanese have been undertaking in Antarctic waters in recent years, which has concluded that there are now sufficient stocks of minke, humpback, and fin whales, among other species, in the Antarctic.
Further underlining the country’s firmly pro-whaling stance, Japan will also seek to change the way that the IWC reaches decisions, pushing for catch quota changes requiring a simple majority rather than approval from three-quarters of IWC members, as is currently the case.
The proposals are, however, likely to face stiff opposition from antiwhaling members, prompting one Japanese official to say that “all options” will be explored—meaning Japan’s potential withdrawal from the IWC.
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