Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Japan's war on whales isn't over – the Australian government must keep fighting

Australia’s global leadership on whale conservation will be tested as Japanese hunters move to a different hemisphere
Darren Kindleysides
Mon 1 Apr 2019 18.00 BST
Japan’s whaling fleet arrived back at the port of Shimonoseki on the weekend with a barbaric tally of 333 dead whales that are no longer swimming freely in the Southern Ocean.
If the work of the Japanese whalers is anything like last year, more than 100 pregnant females and 50 or so juveniles will have been killed. But from now on, things are different.
Japan’s announcement on Boxing Day last year that it would be leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC) means those whalers will likely never return to the Southern Ocean. Now they will only hunt whales in their own waters.
For the first time in more than 100 years, the Southern Ocean’s whales are free from the impending threat of a nation intent on hunting them.
Norway set up an Antarctic whaling station in 1904 and Japanese whalers have been heading south every summer since before the second world war, joining dozens of factory ships from Britain and the United States. The only temporary reprieve whales have had was because of the second world war.

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