Saturday 10 March 2012

Harpoon guns fall silent in the Antarctic, for now

The Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) has confirmed that its Antarctic whaling fleet terminated its 2012 hunt on 6 March.

Japan’s “scientific” Antarctic whaling program calls for an annual take of 850 +/- 10% (or up to 935) minke whales and 50 fin whales. This season the whalers took only 266 minke whales and one fin whale, with the FAJ citing “weather conditions and sabotage acts by activists” as the reasons for the shortfall.

In the meantime the Australian Government continues its action against Japanese Antarctic whaling in the International Court of Justice [see article 12.01.2011]. Japan is due to submit its official response this month.

The fisheries industry in Japan is a very influential political force and Japan’s whaling industry survives only because of heavy government subsidies and promotional campaigns. It is important for anti-whaling nations and NGOs to sustain their efforts to convince the Japanese Government to abandon its support for an industry that is both financially and morally bankrupt. 


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