Published: Wed, December 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Japan to resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic

Japan to resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic

Its managing director in New Zealand, Michael Lawry, said while it was concerning endangered whales would now be hunted for commercial purposes near Japan, the decision had a lot of positive outcomes.

"We have chose to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in order to resume commercial whaling in July next year", top government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Japan says it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts but says it will no longer go to the Antarctic to hunt.

Tomiji Saito, the deputy head of a local tourism association and the organizer of a whaling festival, said the nation's restart of commercial whaling for the first time in about 30 years is good news.

Suga said the IWC has been dominated by conservationists and Japan was disappointed over its efforts to manage whale stocks even though the IWC has a treaty mandate for both whale conservation and development of the whaling industry.

The announcement comes after Japan failed earlier this year to convince the IWC to allow it to resume commercial whaling.

Japan also suggested in 2007 that it might withdraw from the IWC in protest at the ban on commercial whaling but it was later persuaded by the United States and other countries to remain in the organisation.

"But if we don't explain internationally that whales are increasing. people won't understand", she added.

Federal Reserve raises interest rates, slightly lowers projection for USA economic growth
The Fed's new forecasts also reduce the long-run level for its benchmark rate to 2.8 per cent from 3 per cent. Shares in Hong Kong and Seoul were both down more than 1% while stocks fell 1.3% in Sydney to a two-year low.

Japan's decision followed the IWC's latest rejection of its bid to resume commercial whaling at a September meeting, which Suga said showed it was impossible to bridge the gap between whaling advocates and anti-whaling members.

The move to resume commercial whaling drew criticism from conservation groups and governments.

Japan has hunted whales for centuries, and the meat was a key source of protein in the immediate post-World War II years when the country was desperately poor.

Influential lawmakers in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party whose constituencies include whaling communities have long lobbied for a resumption of commercial whaling. "We continue to hope Japan eventually reconsiders its position and will cease all whaling in order to advance the protection of the ocean's ecosystems".

Japan killed at least 488 whales off its coast, in the Antarctic and the Northwest Pacific during the annual hunt that ended in 2017, according to IWC.

"It's clear that the government is trying to sneak in this announcement at the end of year, away from the spotlight of worldwide media", said Sam Annesley, the Executive Director at Greenpeace Japan.

Tokyo argues that whaling is an important part of Japan's traditions, and Suga said the withdrawal would allow fishermen to "pass our country's rich whaling culture onto the next generation". Fisheries officials say that whale meat is more popular with older segments of the Japanese population than among the young.

Like this: