Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has condemned Japanese whaling and the country’s latest attempts to ignore an international court ban on its so-called scientific hunts in the Antarctic.
In March 2014, Australia was instrumental in a court action against these ‘research’ hunts. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague ordered Japan to stop its whaling programmes in the Antarctic, ruling that they contravene a 1986 ban on commercial whale hunting. Representatives from the Australian government outlined in court how useless Japanese whaling is in scientific terms, stating that the ‘research’ programme only makes use of a small part of the whale. The rest is turned into edible products and sold, and a third discarded – thus confirming that these hunts are effectively commercial whaling in disguise, and just an excuse for Japanese whalers to get around the current international ban.
Despite the ruling, Japan’s government has repreatedly expressed its intention to continue with its scientific whale hunting programme.