Japanese whaling continues even though the country is rumoured to already have stockpiles of frozen whale meat as a result of reduced market demand, as is the case with Norway.
Following an historic decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Japan's Antarctic whaling program, JARPA II, was terminated. On 31 March 2014, following a successful court case brought against Japan by Australia, the ICJ instructed that Japan's scientific whaling permits for the Antarctic must be revoked and that no further such permits may be issued.

Unfortunately, Japan made it clear that it intended to revamp its Antarctic scientific whaling program to work around the ICJ decision, and recommence hunting in the summer of 2015/16.

Antarctic (NEWREP-A)
As expected, The Japanese Government sent its whaling fleet south again late in 2015 with "scientific whaling" permits issued under a hastily contrived New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean, or NEWREP-A.

Although the program was condemned by scientists world-wide, including the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, as providing no justification for killing whales, the Japanese pressed ahead with it. While fewer whales are taken than under the JARPA II program, 333 minkes are killed annually and make their way to markets and restaurants in Japan.

North-west Pacific
For many years following the IWC commercial whaling moratorium in 1985-86, Japan has also been conducting a "scientific whaling" program in the north-west Pacific, JARPN-II.

In the wake of the 2014 ICJ decision on Japan's Antarctic scientific whaling, the this northern hemisphere hunt was temporarily reduced 100 minke, 90 sei and 20 Bryde's whales, although this is was expected to be only a temporary measure.

True to form, Japan announced late in 2016 a replacement program to commence in 2017, NEWREP-NP, that removed Bryde's whales but increased the minke and sei quotas to 174 and 140 respectively.

As well as the factory ship and chaser vessels used in previous years, NEWREP-NP also incorporates Japanese coastal whalers operation from ports on the main island of Honshu and on Hokkaido to the north. This effectively circumvents the IWC's refusal to issue coastal commercial whaling permits during the moratorium.

Further information can be found under Whaling Today and Scientific Permit Whaling.


Dedicated to



education and