To put facts into perspective, whale hunting had been banned by an international committee in 1982. However, the law that prohibits the harvesting of whales has a giant loophole called “research.” It would seem that, in the name of science, anyone could harvest as many whales as they want, eluding the law in the process.
This is what Japan managed to demonstrate during their annual whale research season. Since the begging of the “research project”, Japan’s whaling fleet, comprised of 4 state-of-the-art “research” vessel managed to track down and butcher no less than 333 whales.
Moreover, it would seem that most of the experiment took place in a region dubbed a marine sanctuary by the Australian government. To make matters much worse, the Japanese scientists aboard the vessels admitted to killing pregnant whales, some of them having twins.
When asked about what drove them to kill the pregnant mammals, the Japanese scientists declared that Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research wants to determine the health of calves at several ages.
Naturally, while the whole world is condemning Japan’s action, Australia plans to take more drastic measure. Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, stated that with their actions, Japan managed to defy last year’s ruling.
Bishop explained that back in 2015, Japan was called to answer for the same thing. And now, after being called to answer for a similar charge, Japan declared that it will withdraw from the jurisdiction. Moreover, the researchers said that their actions are entirely legal since all of them are in the name of scientific research.
Bishop, along with her colleagues is currently searching for ways to enforce the law in Japan and to stop the whale harvesting. But it seems that the Japanese whaling fleet has other plans. After Australia had condemned their actions, Japan’s Cetacean Research Institute presented a 12-year-long plan, according to which, 4000 more whales will have to forfeit their live in the name of science.
Of course, Japan’s wanton massacre attracted the attention of other groups, including the Sea Shepherds, the anti-whaling activist. According to their statements, their ship, the Steve Irwin, tried to intercept and disrupt the fleet’s operation, but they were unable to pinpoint their location.
Furthermore, the anti-whaling activists are also condemning Australia’s government for not releasing the exact location of the whaling ships and for not sending a ship to deal with them.
Well, it would seem that Japan managed yet again to bypass international laws and to commit mass murder all the name of scientific research. Whether the law will catch up with them or not, remains to be seen.