Australia Confronts Japan On Whaling In Historic Hague Case

220px-Whaling_harpoon220px-Minke_Whale_(NOAA)Australia has called Japan to account for its openly fraudulent claims of scientific research as an exception to the moratorium on whaling. Australia accused Japan in the International Court of Justice in The Hague of commercial whaling in using the claim of research to kill hundreds of whales every year in the Southern Ocean.

Killing whales to carry out essential scientific research is allowed under a 1946 treaty on whaling.

Japan admits to killing 815 minke whales in the Antarctic every year.

Australia says more than 10,000 whales have been killed since the start of the moratorium. In the meantime, environmental and academic figures have uniformly rejected the claims of scientific research by the Japanese. The other bad actor internationally is Norway, which has refused to even sign the moratorium.

What is particularly perverse is that Japan has an over-supply of whale meat because of changing Japanese attitudes. The government is actually trying to revive interest in whale dishes. As the Japanese slaughter whales in places like the Southern Ocean, there is a 6000 ton surplus piled up at home.

Australia is doing a service for the entire world in confronting Japan in the Hague. The level of dishonesty in the Japanese claim is matched only by the cruelty of its practices in the Southern Ocean.

Source: Scientific American

17 thoughts on “Australia Confronts Japan On Whaling In Historic Hague Case”

  1. Doesn’t Australia have submarines armed with torpedoes? And don’t they have destroyers available to pick up the survivors?

  2. I thought the Norwegians were good guys/gals. Old habits die hard and if it involves money, they may never die till there is no more to be gained.

  3. Nearly all Japanese I know (after 15 years in Japan) don’t eat whale meat and are opposed to whaling. It’s just an old, rightist guard of old monied politicians and war apologists who push this to the extent of forcing kindergarteners to eat whale meat in an attempt to inculcate a taste for it.

  4. Agreed on the poor seamanship. I have often commented on it as my daughter as she watched that show, but she does not get it. I guess in order to appreciate fully the dangers that Sea Shepherd poses, one has to have been to sea in some professional capacity.

    There is no question in my mind that their tactics are going to get someone killed. As far as I know, there is no exception in rules of the road at sea (there is an international agreement on this subject), that allows a burdened vessel (one that must give way) to interfere with the navigation of a privileged (stand on) vessel on the grounds that the privileged vessel is operated by bad guys.

    But perhaps when higher moral authority is on your side, you get to claim such an exception anyway. It’s never worked for me, but maybe my moral authority is not of the higher kind.

  5. And, on the legal merits, I’m seem to recall that the “scientific” exception is written in the treaty so that it is basically left up entirely to the particular country granting the license to kill for “science.” So, in the case of Japan’s whalers, it’s a complete sham, but I’m not sure the court will go behind the curtain. Regardless, good on Australia for complaining!

  6. Bill and Chester, I share your amazement at the poor seamanship of seashepherd at times as well. I wonder whether some (most?) of it is made for TV, just to make things a bit more interesting. If they weren’t constantly getting themselves into a jam, then the show would be less interesting.

    rafflaw, whaling in Japan is no different than much farming in the US–they overproduce and only way they stay in business is via government subsidy.

  7. I thought we had already “Saved The Whales.” They have tour boats everywhere to see them and I haven’t seen a “Save The Whales” bumper sticker since the 80’s.

  8. In other news, a notable Japanese PR firm has discontinued their “Throw Another Narwhal On The Barbie” ad campaign.

    Good on you, Australia.

  9. Now that BarkinDog is gone, you are gonna have me to deal with. You undid the Voting Rights Act and wont even discuss it. I guess the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is next. It too is a tired old text. Bye Bye Miz American Pie.

  10. Aint no time to wonder why…
    Whoopee, we’re all gonna die.

    Bye BarkinDog

  11. In Holland. or The Netherlands, they call that town “Den Haag”. Most Americans do not know that there is an international Court there because the U.S. will not participate. We are Exceptional since WWI. The folks in Den Haag are really riled up over the Metadata thing. Some say that turnabout is fair play and since the U.S. does not belong to the Court that they can all spy on Americans in America or anywhere. There is a loosely named club called Obama’s Underwear that jokingly advances the cause. This dog is going to be in Amsterdam and Den Haag for awhile on business and may not be on the Turley blog here. There was a case which Americans might be interested in and it is called Shelby County v. Holder. Your Supreme Court just undid the Voting Rights Act. And it undid the Voting Rights Amendment to the Constitution. (15th Amendment). It is kinda like undoing Prohibition. Only without the gesture of another constitutional amendment. Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam.

  12. Kudos to the Aussies. This kind of wanton killing is not only outrageous, it doesn’t make economic sense if the market for whale meat is not there.

  13. Bill H. I totally agree. Although I’m surprised that half of the Sea Shepherd’s crew don’t drown or capsize every season, I am in awe of what they do.

  14. Time for a mention of and “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. I get annoyed at the astonishingly inept seamanship they tend to display, but their cause is just and their efforts awesome.

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