JUN 30, 2019 7:52 AM PDT

Japan's Deprecated Commercial Whaling Activities Are About to Begin

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) prevents most of the world from conducting any whaling activities, which is the process of hunting and killing wild whales for commercial motives including, but not limited to, selling the resulting whale meat for a profit. But not everyone plays by these rules.

Japan, for example, has long exploited a gray area in the IWC’s terms and conditions in which it would permit whaling ships to hunt and kill wild whales for the sake of “scientific research.” After many failed attempts to sway the IWC to allow sustainable commercial whaling efforts, Japan ultimately left the agreement to pursue its whaling endeavors as it saw fit.

Image Credit: Pixabay

It now seems that Japan is poised to launch a fleet of commercial whaling ships as early as this week. It would be the first time in 30 years that Japan has deployed a large-scale commercial whaling fleet, and as you might come to expect, the decision is being met with loads of outrage on a global scale.

Related: Is there a link between the Northern Lights and whale beachings?

Japan’s withdrawal from the IWC formally takes effect on Monday, July 1st, allowing whaling ships to pursue their interests as long as the activities are contained within Japan’s 12-mile stretch of territorial water. With that in mind, Japanese whaling ships won’t be able to (legally) conduct whaling activities anywhere else in the world.

Under the IWC agreement, Japan could conduct whaling activities all around the world, as long as it was related to ‘scientific research.’ Unfortunately, the whaling industry’s true motives were more evident than Japan led on, as much of the whale meat that resulted from this so-called ‘scientific research’ was later sold in Japan as food.

In addition to the senseless animal cruelty that results from Japan’s whaling efforts, another primary concern has to do with marine species conservation. Japan’s whaling ships typically target Bryde’s whales, minke whales, and sei whales – one of which is listed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List, albeit with an increasing population trend.

Related: More than 88 pounds' worth of plastic pollution was found in this whale's gut

While conservationists aren’t expecting significant population declines as a direct result of Japan’s commercial whaling sector, they do fear that the nation’s relentlessness in this department could result in a cascade of problems down the line, such as other nations following suit. With that in mind, something needs to be done to protect the whales.

Source: BBC, IUCN

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 17, 2020
Immunology
A Peanut a Day Keeps Allergies Away
DEC 17, 2020
A Peanut a Day Keeps Allergies Away
Canadian researchers have made a breakthrough for children with peanut allergies: immunotherapy that when taken daily fo ...
JAN 10, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Did Sleep Precede the Brain?
JAN 10, 2021
Did Sleep Precede the Brain?
The longer we stay awake without sleeping, the more difficult it can become to think straight. But our functioning is re ...
JAN 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Invasive species reduce water resources in Ethiopia
JAN 30, 2021
Invasive species reduce water resources in Ethiopia
An invasive evergreen tree, known as Prosopis juliflora, is quite the thirsty species. Prosopis has taken over large swa ...
FEB 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
FEB 10, 2021
Is the Nano-Chameleon the World's Smallest Reptile Species?
Say “hello!” to the nano-chameleon, a top contender for the world’s smallest reptile. According to the ...
MAR 30, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A Pest Hijacked a Plant Gene To Use as a Toxin Shield
MAR 30, 2021
A Pest Hijacked a Plant Gene To Use as a Toxin Shield
Bacteria can share genetic material in a process called horizontal gene transfer, and recent work has shown that in anim ...
APR 15, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Protein That Creates a Fibonacci Sequence in Flower Heads
APR 15, 2021
A Protein That Creates a Fibonacci Sequence in Flower Heads
You're probably familiar with sunflowers, a member of the Asteraceae family. But the biology of the plant is a bit diffe ...
Loading Comments...