Japan’s calls to lift a 32-year-old ban on commercial whaling have been rejected, putting an end to conservationists’ fears the cruel practice will be legalised again.
At the International Whaling Commission in Brazil last month, officials turned down Japan’s bid to bring back commercial whaling, voting the motion down by 41 to 27.
People worldwide were extremely relieved by the decision, praising the IWC for rejecting Japan’s “reckless and retrograde” for attempting to allow whale hunting for profit.
Australia was one of the countries who voted against Japan’s proposal, describing commercial whaling as “a business proposition against which many parties hold legitimate environmental and welfare concerns.”
Pro-whaling countries such as Norway and Iceland were among the 27 nations who voted in favour of the motion, pledging their support to bring back commercial whaling.
Other supporting countries included Nicaragua and Senegal, who said the IWC would be “dysfunctional” if they did not approve Japan’s calls to legalise the practice.
During the week-long bi-later summit, Japan proposed plans to establish a ‘Sustainable Whaling Committee (SWC)’ in a bid to bring back commercial whaling, claiming the world’s oceans had “abundant whale stocks/species”.
Norway and Iceland still practise commercial whaling, objecting the IWC ban.
Norway takes North Atlantic common minke whales while Iceland takes North Atlantic common minke whales and also North Atlantic fin whales.
Some countries are still allowed to hunt whales – such as aboriginal communities, not under IWC regulation – while other nations practise whaling for scientific research purposes.