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05 March 2024

Japanese whaling could end in Antarctic Ocean

The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt before taking a further three harpoon shots to finally kill the whale in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. (AFP)


A panel of legal experts says Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean could be stopped on the basis of strict environmental controls that should prevent dumping offal and hazardous ship refuelling at sea in the fragile ecosystem.

The panel, convened by the conservation group International Fund for Animal Welfare, released a report on Tuesday recommending a new attack on Japanese whaling aimed at Japan’s environmental responsibilities as one of the 46 members of the Antarctic Treaty System.

The report says Japan should be held accountable for the environmental impact of whaling and related activities, such a refuelling at sea and offal discharge on the highly sensitive Antarctic marine environment.