Whaling, Australia fines Japanese company 1 million dollars

Una società baleniera giapponese dovrà pagare una multa di un milione di dollari per aver violato il Santuario dei cetacei dell’Oceano Antartico.

Although a moratorium on whaling was emanated by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986, Japan, alongside Iceland, Norway, and Faroe Islands, continues undismayed to kill these giant cetaceans, challenging the international community whilst pleading scientific purposes to hunt.

Japan continues to kill hundreds of whales every year.

However, Japan definitely crossed the line. It hunted within Australia’s Antarctic whale sanctuary. An Australian court, following the charge by the animal-rights organisation Humane Society International (HSI), has fined the whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha 1 million dollars.

The fight against whaling within the sanctuary instituted in 1994 has been going on for years, whilst Japan has always contested the legality of the sanctuary itself, by regularly killing whales in it. In 2008, Australia denounced Japan to the International Court of Justice, issuing an injunction to cease the hunt within Australia’s exclusive economic zone, which extends for 200 nautical miles.

Australia’s Antarctic whale sanctuary was established by the IWC in 1994, and extends for 50 million square kilometres

Japan breached the order though, by not recognising Australia’s sovereignty on questioned waters. However, the International Court of Justice established last year that whaling was conducted for economic purposes, rather than scientific.

From December 2008 to March 2014, the whaling company has killed a huge number of whales. Kyodo’s conduct in breach of the injunction was “deliberate, systematic and sustained,” reads the verdict issued by the judge of the federal court, Jayne Jagot.

Despite the fine, the injunctions and convictions, Japan has declared that “scientific whaling” will restart and will be conducted until 2017, reducing the annual amount to 333 whales.

Many whale species are threatened with extinction, due to hunting, climate change, and pollution

Hunting is not the only threat to whales. Climate change, pollution, maritime traffic increase, and overfishing are significantly threatening the survival of many whale species. Therefore the question arises: why does Japan, despite the entire world’s opposition, continue to slaughter these peaceful and smart animals?

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