Has Japan finally accepted that the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) 2014 ruling applies to all its scientific whaling and not just the slaughter of whales in the Antarctic?
Japan's fisheries agency has announced that its whaling fleet is heading for the North Pacific to start its annual whaling this weekend in the name of "science".
The whalers will be targeting minke whales with a quota of 51 whales set by the agency which will be hunted in the waters off Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture until May.
A document has been released which suggests that whale meat is being used in feed supplied to fur farms in Norway.
Norway's whalers continue to carry out commercial whaling each year, killing hundreds of minke whales, though in recent years they have been unable to reach their government's self-allocated quota of over 1200 whales.
Following pressure from a group of MEPs, the EU Parliament´s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has submitted a formal question to the European Commission and European Council asking if there will be any further condemnation of Japan by the EU over the Japanese government’s decision to resume research whale hunts in Antarctic waters over the next 12 years.
The US has applied more pressure on the Icelandic government regarding whaling. A statement to Icelandic press from the US embassy in Reykjavik said that the United States supports the International Whaling Commission (IWC) ban on commercial whaling and that Iceland now has the chance to show it is a leader in issues of marine conservation by opposing commercial whaling and trade in whale products.