19 Sep 2014

Japan will defy IWC whaling ruling

8:08 pm on 19 September 2014

Japan says it will go ahead with its research whaling in the Southern Ocean next year, defying a vote by the whaling watchdog to impose strict limits on the programme.

A Bryde's whale on the deck of a Japanese research ship.

A Bryde's whale on the deck of a Japanese research ship. Photo: AFP / Institute of Cetacean Research

The meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia voted by 35 to 20 in favour of New Zealand's resolution requiring members to put future whaling programmes to the commission's scientific committee for guidance.

Japan had cancelled this year's programme in the Antarctic after a ruling by the International Court of Justice.

But a spokesperson, Glenn Inwood, said the International Whaling Commission vote is non-binding and Japan will go ahead with next year's programme as planned.

Former New Zealand whaling commissioner Sir Geoffrey Palmer said the strong vote at the IWC was significant.

He said New Zealand had led the campaign and that the result was a "very considerable diplomatic victory".

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