Japan reduced Antarctic whale hunt quota
Hoping to convince international opponents, Japan has reduced its Antarctic whale catch quota by two thirds to prove that it only wants to catch whales for research purposes and not for commercial use.
The international court of justice, the highest court of the UN has ruled earlier this year that Japan was carrying out commercial activities under the pretence of scientific research and abusing the exemptions made for such purposes since 1986 moratorium on whaling. The court also said that the controversial programme under which Japanese boats that have utilized the taxpayer subsidy have been harpooning huge mammals and sell their meat later.
It was also said that Japan called the meat as a byproduct while it was carriying out a commercial hunt and masquerading as research activities. Judges of the court said that any nation that wants to avail the exemption for scientific research must also explain why it was necessary to kill the animals as part of the study they are conducting in order to avail it. Following the ruling, Japan cancelled its study for this year but said it wants to resume Antarctic hunt and start researching on whales during the next year.
Japanese minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Koya Nishikawa said in a statement, “We will explain the new plan sincerely so as to gain understanding from each country.” Greenpeace Japan said, “Even though the new programme stresses the point that it added non-lethal research, the essence of ‘research aimed at maintaining whaling’ has not changed from the previous programme. People in Japan and around the world know the purpose of the whaling programme is not research, but a taxpayer-funded subsidy for the whaling industry”.
I also says that the programme was a waste of money and it also poses risks by discrediting global trust in Japanese research programs in general.