Tokyo: Japan has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) next year onwards, and will resume commercial whaling in its territorial waters from July.
“In its long history, Japan has used whales not only as a source of protein but also for a variety of other purposes,” CNN reported while quoting an official statement.
“Engagement in whaling has been supporting local communities, and thereby developed the life and culture of using whales,” the release further mentioned.
Meanwhile, Japan will stop whaling activities in the Antarctic Ocean and hunt those whale species that have a “healthy” population.
Conservation and pro-animal groups have slammed the decision with Greenpeace Japan calling on the Japanese government for the conservation of marine ecosystem.
“The declaration today is out of step with the international community, let alone the protection needed to safeguard the future of our oceans and these majestic creatures. The government of Japan must urgently act to conserve marine ecosystems, rather than resume commercial whaling,” Sam Annesley, the executive director at Greenpeace Japan said.
The hunting of whales for commercial purposes is banned under the 1986 IWC moratorium, which is objected to by Iceland and Norway. Japan, on the other hand, has continued hunting whales since 1987 for what it claims to be scientific research.