Japan Ready To Kill Thousands of Whales For “Science”

We cannot have everything in life. Apparently, Japan would choose mass-murder for the sake of science instead of sparing the lives of more than 3,000 whales.


A Minke whale, the usual ‘prey’ of hunters of Japan

Japan is ready to kill hundreds of whales and no force on Earth seems to be able to stop it from executing the mass-killing. In spite of the rejection of its proposal to kill 4, 000 whales in the Antarctic ocean for the 12 years to come by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) , it cannot be prevented from hunting the whales down.

“I believe that we’ll move forward with the aim of resuming whaling around the end of the year,” the commissioner, Joji Morishita said, according to Reuters.

The fierce opposition of the IWC is not regarded as binding on others. Countries are still free to issue permits for scientific whaling which is an exception that is allowed. Moreover, it is not even compulsory to abide by the IWC recommendations when carrying out the research.

Japan has used this to its advantage; it has been at it since 1987.

However, it was prosecuted in 2012 when the governments of Australia and New Zealand filed cases with the International Court of Justice. The latter two countries had argued that the justifications for the whaling activities provided by Japan were not valid. Ultimately, whaling activities were stopped – that was last March when the court paid heed to the points brought forth by Australia. Thereafter, Japan had sent a new plan of its activities to the IWC, arguing that it respected the recommendations.

Despite the stance of IWC, Japan is likely to indulge in its activities once again.

“Japan doesn’t need permission under the convention to do scientific whaling,” said Phillip Clapham from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory.

“They’ll get a lot of crap and criticism over how bad this science is and how unnecessary it is. But they don’t actually need permission.”

Japan wishes to study the age at which female Minke whales become sexually mature. To achieve its aim, it intends to kill around 3,996 whales over 12 years; 50 females from the age group 4-13 would be killed per year. What makes the issue problematic is that the sex of the whales cannot be discriminated before they are hunted. Therefore, around 333 whales might be killed annually – that would include both males and females together with younger and older ones.

“It’s the same old kind of weird science approach to whaling,” Patrick Ramage, director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Whale Program, told VICE News. “It’s not science, it’s just kind of, ‘101 things to do with a dead whale.'”

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