The UK Telegraph is reporting that after a ban of more than a quarter century, the restrictions on commercial whaling may soon be lifted. The paper cites “secret talks” being held in Florida (so, I guess the cat’s out of the bag) at the beginning of March that will finalize a deal allowing Japan to begin killing whales once more for gain.
The deal remains under wraps, but is expected to allow the country to whale in its coastal waters. In return, Japan would slightly scale back its Antarctic hunt, but – in another victory for its government – that hunt might be legitimised. Iceland, which also conducts scientific whaling, and Norway, which legally exempted itself from the ban, may also agree to scale back their very much smaller operations.
While fewer whales would be killed, conservationists fear that the move would encourage other countries to start whaling — sparking an international revival of the industry.
In other whale wars news, Austalian PM Paul Rudd gave Japan an ultimatum on Friday to end its annual whale hunt in Antarctic waters. “If we don’t reach a landing point with the Japanese diplomatically, that action will occur well before the commencement of the next whaling season, which is this November,” Mr Rudd told Australian television. According to the UK Guardian, Australia says it has collected enough video and photographic evidence to launch legal action against Japan at the international court of justice in The Hague or the international tribunal for the law of the sea in Hamburg.