1 Jul 2019

Japan re-starts commercial whaling

From Nine To Noon, 9:42 am on 1 July 2019
Sei whale mother and calf

Sei whale mother and calf Photo: Christin Khan, NOAA / NEFSC [Public domain]

Japan is resuming its commercial whaling activities from today, following a three-decade hiatus, but to do this legally Japan's fleet will now be confined to is own waters, up to 200 miles offshore, where whales are less plentiful. That means while there is a gain for whales in the Southern Ocean, the threat to northern Pacific populations could increase. Another problem is that the move will decrease the amount of research done on whales globally.

Peter Bridgewater was Chair of the IWC from 1995-1998 and is now adjunct professor at the University of Canberra. He wants to see a more coordinated research programme to fill the void and questions the role the IWC can play in this.