International Court of Justice rules against Japanese whaling

Original story from www.abc.net.au

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and has forbidden the granting of further whaling permits.

The finding by a 16-judge panel at the ICJ is in favour of Australia’s argument that Japan’s whaling program is carried out for commercial purposes.

Japan has used the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which permits killing for research, to justify killing whales in the Antarctic.

But the court’s judges agreed with Australia that the Japanese research – two peer-reviewed papers since 2005, based on results obtained from just nine killed whales – was not proportionate to the number of animals killed.

“In light of the fact the Jarpa II [research program] has been going on since 2005, and has involved the killing of about 3,600 minke whales, the scientific output to date appears limited,” said presiding judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia.

“Japan shall revoke any existent authorisation, permit or licence granted in relation to Jarpa II and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance to the program.”

Japan signed a 1986 moratorium on whaling, but has continued to hunt up to 850 minke whales in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean each year.

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