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Beluga whales in the wild

Beluga whale in River Seine dies after rescue attempt

A beluga whale that became trapped in the River Seine in France has sadly had...
Tilikum, the father of Nakai. © Paul Wigmore

Orca Nakai dies at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego has announced the death of the orca Nakai. The 20-year-old male orca...
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin © Mike Bossley/WDC

Last captive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin to be freed in South Korea

Bibongi, the last Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin held in captivity in South Korea, is to be...
Common bottlenose dolphin

100 bottlenose dolphins hunted in Faroe Islands

This morning, (July 29th), 100 bottlenose dolphins were killed in Skálafjörður on the Faroe Islands. The...

Japan to defy international ruling and hunt whales for unproven research purposes

The Japanese government has placed itself at the centre of a potential legal and political storm by saying that it intends to restart scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean despite a new ruling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the body that regulates whale hunting), which states that Japan has failed to prove a case for the continued slaughter of large numbers of whales for so-called scientific research purposes.  

The IWC’s decision was made following lengthy talks in May and June in the US between Japanese government representatives and scientific experts.  During the meetings, Japanese officials tried to convince the IWC panel that there is a genuine need for the research despite the fact that most of the whales slaughtered end up being sold commercially for their meat.

Last year the UN’s International Court of Justice also ordered the Japanese hunts to stop on the grounds that it was commercial whale slaughter masquerading as research.

The IWC banned commercial whaling in 1986 but Japan continued killing whales under an exemption for ‘research’. The consumption of the meat in Japan is in decline and the country’s whaling industry is propped up by subsidises from the Japanese government.

Japanese officials have stubbornly reiterated their determination to continue whaling operations in the region and plan to catch 333 minke whales each year until 2027. If they do so they would be in clear contempt of the UN court ruling as well as defying and undermining the workings of the IWC.

 Japanese whaling