Japan's plan to revive its outlawed whaling hits a snag

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Japan's plan to revive its outlawed whaling hits a snag

April 15, 2015 - 16:57

A report released by an expert panel of the International Whaling Commission stated that Japan had failed to provide enough information to determine whether killing more minke whales was necessary to meet research objectives.

The Japanese Government had submitted a plan named NEWREP-A for a revamped "research whaling" program for review by an expert panel of the International Whaling Commission. According to this plan, 333 minke whales would be killed annually over 12 years, meaning a total kill of 3,996 animals. This is on top of the nearly 10,000 whales already killed under its scientific permits.

The IWC expert panel acknowledged that much work had been undertaken to develop NEWREP-A. "However...the present proposal contains insufficient information for the panel [to] complete a full review," its report said. It suggested that a new work program be proposed, to provide more scientific information before a full review of the program could be completed under IWC rules. This may take several years.

No different

In a submission to the IWC panel, Australia had argued that NEWREP-A was no different from the previous Japanese hunt rejected by the international court.

"Japan has added several non-lethal elements to the program in an attempt to make it appear less focused on lethal methods. However, in terms of allocating research effort, and likely expenditure, these appear to be subsidiary to the primary goal of lethal sampling," said Australian scientists, led by Bill de la Mare of the Australian Antarctic Division.

It's 2015. You don't need to be a scientific expert to know there's no need to slaughter whales in the Southern Ocean.

Patrick Ramage, global whales program manager for IFAW

In response to the ruling, Japan said that they would revise their proposal and resubmit it before the IWC's scientific committee's meeting in San Diego in May.

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