Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Japan Says Own Whalers Unhappy With Plan to Resume Hunts

Japan Commercial Whaling Amid Criticism Japan To Start Commercial Whaling After 30 Years
Cary Marshall | 29 December, 2018, 14:05

Amid global outcry over Japan's announcement this week that it plans to resume commercial whaling, one whale conservationist says it's actually a "very positive development" for the world's whale populations.

Not only does Árni believe that Iceland will face an increase in global pressure to discontinue whaling practices, he also believes that Japan's decision will make it harder for the Icelandic government to distribute quotas for whaling catch that will be sold to Japan.

"The declaration.is out of step with the worldwide community, let alone the protection needed to safeguard the future of our oceans and these majestic creatures", global conservationist group Greenpeace said.

In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan should halt its Antarctic whaling.

"I think that whaling's time has long passed and there isn't really any demand for this product in Japan".

Australia's government, often a vocal critic of Japan's whaling policies, said in a statement that it was "extremely disappointed" with Japan's decision to quit the commission.

Australia urged Japan to return to the IWC "as a matter of priority", its environment minister, Melissa Price, said in a statement.

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Japan plans to use a method laid out by the commission to calculate a sustainable harvest.

Moronuki said Japan is starting with a modest plan because it has to figure out if or how commercial whaling can be a viable industry.

The move to end "scientific" hunts in near Antarctica was opposed by the local whaling industry, the foreign ministry official said, declining to be identified according to ministry policy. But the anti-whaling direct action group Sea Shepherd hailed the withdrawal a victory that would end Japanese whaling in the Antarctic while revealing Japan as a "pirate" whaling nation.

Japan suspended its hunt for one season to re-tool its whaling program with measures such as cutting the number of whales and species targeted, but resumed hunting in the 2015-2016 season, capping its Antarctic catch with a quota of 333 whales annually.

"We hope the resumption of commercial whaling will lead to the economic revitalisation of (whaling) communities", Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Takamori Yoshikawa told a meeting of his ruling party's whaling committee.

It began scientific whaling in 1987, a year after an global whaling moratorium began.

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