3 Jan 2011

South Korea gets tougher on illegal whaling

9:26 pm on 3 January 2011

South Korea says it is taking steps to combat illegal whaling by tightening the rules.

Although commercial whale hunting is banned in South Korea, the trading of whales that are found dead is still legal.

The new rules will require fishermen to report to police immediately if they discover dead whales in their nets or washed ashore.

Critics have said that some fishermen were exploiting a loophole in the law, the BBC reports.

The new regulations mean that, from Monday, samples from all dead whales must be given to the authorities for testing, and their meat can only be sold after a full investigation into how the animal died.

Those who catch dead whales will also only be allowed to process and sell them at state-designated facilities, according to the agricultural ministry.

South Korea used to allow commercial whaling but banned it when the International Whaling Commission implemented a global moratorium in 1986.