On Saturday, in the middle of the COP21 conference, while the whole world has come together to try to find a way towards a sustainable future for the Planet, Japan’s fisheries agency has informed the International Whaling Commission (IWC) of its intentions to resume whale poaching in the Antarctic.
It is indeed poaching, since the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ruled on March 31st 2014 that the Japanese whaling program is illegal, and ordered that the practice be ended at once.
In spite of an accumulation of legal, scientific and ethical condemnations, Japan has decided to break its vow to respect the ICJ decision. It does so at an extremely inappropriate moment, probably in the hopes that the media will be too busy with COP21 to react to this affront.
Japan now plans to kill 4000 minke whales in the next 12 years.
Furthermore, in order to avoid the legal consequences of their actions, Japan has informed the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, that it rejects the authority of the ICJ, saying it has no jurisdiction over matters concerning “research, conservation, management or exploitation of the living resources of the ocean”.
The Cousteau Society, which holds the status of Observer at the IWC, is appalled by the Japanese decision, which is a deliberate act of contempt towards both the international institutions and their member states.