The Japanese Government has decided to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean, causing major uproar amongst anti-whaling advocates. Although the International Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that Japan should stop its scientific research programme, the country has proposed a new plan for the upcoming whaling season.
Japan’s new plan to the International Whaling Commission proposes that they will reduce their annual catch of minke whales by two thirds (333 whales). However, Michael Lawry, who is the director of conservation group Sea Shepherd, commented that if Japan goes ahead with their planned whaling they risk being in breach of at least three international laws.
Lawry believes that International sanctions will be the next step in order to punish the Japanese Government for their whaling plans. Subsequently anti-whaling advocates here in New Zealand are placing pressure upon the NZ Government to fight back against these proposed actions. Japan began its whaling programme in 1987, a year after an international moratorium was introduced.