Friday, September 19, 2014

Ending "scientific" whaling

Last night at a meeting in Slovenia, the International Whaling Commission closed the "scientific" whaling loophole, voting by a clear majority to enforce the International Court of Justice's ruling and require that such whaling actually be done for science. Future scientific whaling programs will have to be approved by the IWC's scientific committee to ensure that non-lethal methods are considered and that any killing of whales is done for valid scientific purposes rather than to fill Japanese freezers.

Its great news, but there's a problem: Japan has already declared that it will defy the ruling (and the ICJ):

But Japanese diplomats at the summit in Slovenia said that they would not be bound by the resolution because they took a different interpretation of the ICJ ruling, and would proceed with the new round of research whaling in the Southern Ocean that they had already declared.

“We are disappointed with their announcement,” Gerard Van Bohemen, the leader of the New Zealand delegation told the Guardian. “We thought it important that there was a strong statement agreed about the interpretation and application of the court’s decision but in the end it wasn’t possible to reach consensus on that.”

So, next year we're going to have a renegade nation murdering whales in the Southern Ocean in defiance of international law.

Shouldn't we do something about that?