The International Court of Justice Finds in Favour of Whale Conservation

The team at Ecotourism Australia are happy to share the decision made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ruling Japan must immediately stop its whaling program in the Antarctic.

The ICJ’s 16-judge panel ruled 12 votes to four in favour of Australia’s argument that Japan’s whaling program was not in fact designed and carried out for scientific purposes.

It was decided, Japan must revoke current whaling permits and refrain from issuing any more.

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

The court’s have agreed with Australia that the researched produced by Japan – two reports since 2005, based on results obtained from only 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,” presiding judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said.

“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.

The ICJ’s ruling is final and there will be no appeal.

A spokesman for the Japanese government said the court’s decision was “deeply disappointing”.

“We will abide by the decision of the courts and although we will consider a concrete future course of action very carefully, upon studying what is stated in the judgement, we will cease the current research whaling program in the Antarctic pursuant to the judgement.

“This is a final verdict and we are saying in a very straight forward way that we will abide by the judgement of the court.”

While it has committed to abide by the court’s ruling, Japan would be free to continue whaling if it withdrew from the 1986 moratorium or the 1946 treaty.

To read the full story visit www.abc.net.au

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