Victory for Australia: Japan’s “Scientific” Whaling Must End

Written by on March 31, 2014 in Policy & Ocean Law, Whales & Dolphins
Minke whale in Antarctic waters.

Minke whale in Antarctic waters. Photo credit: ravas51 via photopin cc.

In 2010, Australia took Japan to the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the issue of ‘scientific whaling,’ claiming that the Japanese whalers were intentionally taking advantage of a loophole in the 1986 ban on commercial whaling.

Today, March 31, the ICJ ruled in favor of Australia (by a 12-4 majority), stating that because Japan “failed to prove” that its whale hunt was actually for scientific purposes, it can no longer continue its annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) welcomed the ruling.

“This is an historic decision which lays to rest, once and for all, the grim travesty of Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling and exposes it to the world as the blatant falsehood it clearly is,” Clare Perry, head of EIA’s Cetaceans Campaign, said in a news release. “With this ruling, Japan must clearly cease its whaling activities in the Antarctic.”

You can read more about the court case here: Whaling in the Antarctic.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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