It was too good to last: Japan to step up efforts to resume whale hunting near Antarctica

whale underwater photo
CC BY 2.0 NOAA

Japan's government was moving in the right direction (with some help from a ruling by the International Court of Justice...), but now it's backtracking. After stopping its whaling operations near Antarctica and reducing its whale quotas in the Pacific, Japanese primer minister Shinzo Abe is now saying that he wants to push for the whaling near Antarctica to resume.

Customs and Border Protection Service, Commonwealth of Australia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Here's a very strange quote, carried by the BBC:

"I want to aim for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research," Mr Abe said.

So is it commercial or research?

Japan has long claimed that its whaling was exempt from bans because they were conducting scientific research, but the facts show that the whaling is actually commercial. They even make luxury dog food from whale meat...

Wikimedia/Public Domain

On the topic of whaling, Mr. Abe has said that it is "regrettable that this part of Japanese culture is not understood".

While it might be true that in certain areas of Japan there's a long history of whaling, this argument isn't very convincing. Whaling used to be common all around the world, including in Europe and North-America, yet people have moved on. Things change, we try to improve. There's no reason why Japan couldn't stop whaling like most other countries.

Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Via BBC

Tags: Antarctica | Japan | Whales

Best of TreeHugger 2014

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK