Not just Japan, but commercial whaling has been prevalent in two other countries -- Norway and Iceland — who are still involved in killing whales, despite the 1986 moratorium.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse for the protection of whales, Japan will now resume commercial whaling next month. which was banned in 1982 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
As expected, the nation is facing severe international condemnation for defying the 1986 global ban on commercial whaling. According to the Japanese government’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, they will restart the commercial operations from next month onwards, reports Independent.
He explained in a statement, “In its long history, Japan has used whales not only as a source of protein but also for a variety of other purposes. Engagement in whaling has been supporting local communities, and thereby developed the life and culture of using whales.”
The killing of whales, or as it is often called commercial whaling, has had a long-lasting impact on the mammal's population and the environment. But it all came to stop when there was a global ban in 1986 that made commercial whaling illegal worldwide, but the fight doesn't merely end there.
Not just Japan, but commercial whaling has been prevalent in two other countries -- Norway, and Iceland — who are still involved in killing whales, despite the 1986 moratorium.
These nations have managed to kill thousands of whales and sell their meat on the illegal black market. However, the future is not as bleak as it looks, thanks to organizations and environmentalists across the world who are doing their bit for the conservation of whales.
Leading the fight among many is Green Peace who have been focusing on finding and promoting solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. It allows individuals to be part of the solution and provides a platform for everyone to do their part.
Interestingly enough, Greenpeace Japan has been at the forefront of condemning the actions of their government after the nation decided to withdraw from the IWC last year. Green Peace executive director Sam Annesley made a statement, saying:
“As a result of modern fleet technology, overfishing in both Japanese coastal waters and high seas areas has led to the depletion of many whale species. Most whale populations have not yet been recovered, including larger whales such as blue whales, fin whales and sei whales." As reported by Quartz.
"The world’s oceans face multiple threats such as acidification and plastic pollution, in addition to overfishing. As a country surrounded by oceans where people’s lives have been heavily reliant on marine resources, it is essential for Japan to work towards healthy oceans. Japan’s government has so far failed to resolve these problems,” he added.
It is the need of the hour to create awareness about Japan’s whale meat trade, and the Japanese media also needs to help create a discussion over the protection of whales. It is also important to change the mindset of the governments who voted in favor of Japan for its approach to commercial whaling and they should, instead, vote to protect whales.
And if you thought it was just hunting that kills whales, you are terribly mistaken. Humans are part of several other problems created by themselves, be it global warming, pollution, ship strikes or even ocean acidification. The whales sometimes even get tangled in fishing gear every year, resulting in their death. It is extremely pivotal to ensure that we take preventive measures to save the whale population before its too late. You can make your donations here.