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Japan Is Hunting Whales 'For Science'

The expedition has been refused, but it’s still happening

(Mirror Daily, United States) – Worldwide outrage sparked as Japan is hunting whales ‘for science’ even though it has been ruled that they have no scientific reason to slaughter the marine mammals. This arrives among numerous efforts to protect whale species around the world, who are still facing issues such as climate change and overfishing.

Conservationists have been in an uproar as a Japanese fleet left for the Antarctic on December 1st, to embark on a mission that will see to hundreds of dead mike whales. Reportedly, it’s in the same of science, but most do not believe their purpose, and it’s still in direct ruling to an official decision. Yet, the expedition is still happening.

Due to numerous concerns surrounding commercial whaling and their declining population, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned the practice back in 1986. However, under the exemption of research, Japan continued to hunt down and kill the marine mammals. Those conducted under scientific purposes had a different permission, but it was still required.

The judicial department of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided on March 2014  that the whaling program Japan considered was commercial and, thus, illegal. While scientific programs were not outright banned, they could not find the criteria that would make sense or any scientific purpose to their expedition. They deemed it unnecessary to kill the whales in the process.

In the beginning, it seemed that Japan agreed and that it would follow the rules. However, a few months later, they introduced their new whaling program, called NEWREP-A. Both the IWC and the ICJ deemed as the killing for research purposes as being ‘unnecessary’ given their declining populations. According to experts, studying migration pattern and health is actually much better if the animals are still alive.

And yet, a few days after the submission of their new program NEWREP-A set sail for Antarctica with the goal in mind to kill hundreds of minke whales. Their new project means to slaughter 333 minke whales per year for a period of 12 years. This will bring a total of almost 4,000 dead whales ‘for the purpose of science’.

Numerous groups, including marine conservationists from Sea Shepherd, have voiced out their protests. It has been deemed intolerable that Japan is continuing with their project in spite of explicit refusal from the ICJ and the IWC. Even according to Greenpeace Japan, it’s “completely unacceptable”  that the Japanese government ignored the response from both international organizations.

Their goal has been called out on not having any “scientifically reasonable” evidence for their research. Conservationists have also criticize Japan’s whaling program by calling it a front for commercial whaling. The carcasses from the hunt will end up sold to seafood markets anyway. And Japan is well known for consumption of whale meat.

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