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Case Against Japan Whaling at The Hague …

  • June 26th, 2013
  • Posted by EU Australia

Whale watching  finAustralia and New Zealand have begun their case against Japanese whaling, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, 26.6.13.

The two governments first filed against Japan in 2010, and the wait has generated criticism in Australia, that other measures, ranging from more diplomacy to direct confrontations on the high seas, should have been used.

They have legal advice that the particular kind of case is new to the court, which is being asked to rule that Japans’ so-called scientific whaling operations are in fact a cover for commercial whaling, and should be shut down.

To accept the application, the court would agree about the whaling being commercial not scientific, and carried out in a whale sanctuary, in violation of conventions protecting endangered species.

whale hunting 2Japan obtained exemptions for research activity when the world whaling ban was agreed on in 1986, along with a few other states, Iceland and Norway, where limited culling is allowed.

whale hunting 3Arguments have been made in Japan that eating whale flesh is an old tradition, against counter-arguments that it mainly derives from emergency hunting during the lean years immediately after World War II.

whale huntingThe Japanese government has contended that the International Court of Justice is not competent to hear the case.

The Australian Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, said at The Hague, over 10000 whales, most from the Minke species, had been killed by Japanese hunters during the term of the global ban.

whale watching 2He would ask for an order requiring that Japan withdraw all permits from its whaling fleet, which puts to sea late each year, pushing down into Antarctic waters in the Southern Summer, (pictures, top).

Whale watching 1Australia declared the area a whaling sanctuary in 1999; it has observed the ban, and would reject compromise moves in the court, such as reducing the quota of kills, or investigating the recovery of whale populations.

whalewatching 4The annual procession of Humpback whales along the Australian East Coast has built up in strength during the last two decades, and generates a big tourist following, humans shooting at the animals, only with cameras, (pictures)   

Private organisations that have sent small ships to block the Japanese operations, Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, have been able to claim that they saved many whales.  

Reference

Rod McGuirk, Australian court case against Japanese whaling to begin Wednesday in The Hague, Japan Today, Tokyo, 24.6.13. http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/australian-court-case-against-japanese-whaling-to-begin-wednesday-in-the-hague, (26.6.13).

RNZ, Wellington, Court in The Hague asked to ban scientific whaling, 26.6.13. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/138526/court-in-the-hague-asked-to-ban-scientific-whaling, (26.6.13).

Pictures

australia.com, adventurestoday.org, globalmail, yha, wikipedia

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