Canberra: Australia has expressed its disappointment with Japan for resuming commercial whaling after 31 years and reaffirmed her strong opposition opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne in a statement on Tuesday said Japan’s withdrawal from the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and its decision-making body, the International Whaling Commission, has now taken effect and Japan is resuming commercial whaling within its waters.
“We are disappointed that Japan has withdrawn from the Convention and is resuming commercial whaling”, she said.
As part of Japan’s withdrawal, Japan announced that it would stop whaling in the Southern Ocean. This means that the vast Southern Ocean is now a true sanctuary for whales. Japan has also indicated it will continue to cooperate with the Commission as an observer.
“While the Australian Government welcomes the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean, we continue to urge Japan to return to the Convention and the Commission as a matter of priority”, she emphasized.
Ms Payne said Australia will continue to invest in the work of the International Whaling Commission as the leading global body for the conservation and management of whales.
“We will continue to work hard with all Commission members to uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling and promote whale conservation”, she argued.
On Monday, Japanese whalers brought ashore one of their first catch in the northern Japanese town of Kushiro after the resumption of commercial hunting.
Conservationists have slammed Japan for resuming the commercial hunts.
SBS reported that fisheries agencies will allow 227 of the giant sea mammals to be harpooned within its territorial waters, including 52 minke, 150 Bryde’s and 25 sei whales.
One of these species, the sei, is listed as “endangered” on the International Union of the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.