Media Release Whale Protection

Australian Government must act as Japanese whalers leave port for whale hunt

November 14, 2018

The Japanese whaling fleet has left port and is on their way to the Southern Ocean to again kill whales in the name of ‘science’. With the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe due to visit Australia this week, we call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to urgently step up action against Japan.

In previous years it has taken the whaling fleet 3-4 weeks to reach the Southern Ocean where 333 minke whales are in the harpoon firing line, including pregnant females, as part of a 12 year program of ‘research’ that will kill almost 4,000 Antarctic minke whales.

“It is unconscionable that the Japanese whalers are once again planning to kill hundreds of whales in the name of ‘science’,” said AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides.

“In September, the International Whaling Commission rejected Japan’s outrageous attempt to end the global ban on commercial whaling.

“The international community has spoken. Whaling is a cruel, outdated and unnecessary industry which has has lost its social license on a global scale, yet Japan is dead set on killing whales under the thin guise of ‘scientific research’.

“Australia must stop Japan hunting Antarctic whales in breach of international law.

“Our government must act decisively to stop the hunt. When Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets his Japanese counterpart this week he must tell him to bring the whaling fleet home immediately.

“The government must also take further legal action against Japan through the international courts to challenge their ‘scientific’ whaling.

In 2014, in a case brought by the Australian government, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s ‘JARPA II’ Antarctic whaling program was illegal and must stop. However, in 2015, the Japanese Government introduced a new Antarctic whaling program and continues to send its whaling fleet to the Southern Ocean for an annual whale hunt.

Media contacts: Ingrid Neilson, Communications Manager, AMCS 0421 972 731