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International Court of Justice orders end to Japan's annual whale hunt

The International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan's annual whale hunt, conducted under the auspices of a scientific research program, does not conform to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and must therefore be stopped.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   March 31, 2014 at 9:54 AM

The International Court of Justice issued a ruling Monday on whaling in the Antarctic, ruling that Japan must end its annual whale hunt.

Australia brought the case to the court, arguing "that the killing, taking and treating of whales under special permits granted for JARPA II is not for purposes of scientific research ..."

JARPA II is shorthand for the Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic, and the rationale for Japan's annual whale hunt, which it claims is for scientific purposes. Since the program began in 1996, the annual hunt has killed more than 6,700 Antarctic minke whales.

JARPA II Research Plan Objectives
1) Monitoring of the Antarctic ecosystem;
2) Modelling competition among whale species and future management objectives;
3) Elucidation of temporal and spatial changes in stock structure;
4) Improving the management procedure for Antarctic minke whale stocks.

12 of the 16 judges determined "that Japan, by granting special permits to kill, take and treat fin, humpback and Antarctic minke whales in pursuance of JARPA II, has not acted in conformity with its obligations under ... the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling."

The judges directed Japan to "revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of the programme."


[International Court of Justice]

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