by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.


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.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Kelly

    Completely disgusting and infuriating. Just when you finally think headway is being made somewhere, something like this gets reported. I’m literally sick to my stomach right now. — I can only hope somehow reports are wrong. (Although, unlikely.)

  • orcalove

    Please note that these are “talks”. The Telegraph headline is deceiving because they have not gotten the nod yet. They have something to propose but that doesn’t mean it will be approved.

  • imtooforthewhales

    This is another scare tactic. I thought everybody knew by now at the IWC pro-whalers does not have the majority to return to commercial whaling. Same goes anti-whalers, it was the reason why so called research whaling couldn’t be rule out yet. It is a stalemate.

  • ddpalmer

    New Zealand and Australia want to stop having to deal with the Japanese and SSCS around Antarctica. So they are willing to let the Japanese restart commercial whaling in the North Pacific if they will stop coming to the Antarctic, so that Australia and New Zealand don’t have to get involved.

    It is basically a NIMBY attitude. They don’t care about the whales as much as the care about their own peace and quiet.

    For years Japan has been offering to reduce the Antarctic hunt if they got permission to hunt commercially in the North Pacific. The sticking point seems to have been that Australia and New Zealand wanted them completely out of the Antarctic. So it just came down to negotiating the numbers.

    Australia and New Zealand seem to think that with their support the Japanese can get the IWC to agree.

  • don miguelo

    I don’t know what politicians from countries other than Norway, Iceland and Japan would run on a “Let’s be a whale-killing nation, too” campaign, but I guess that’s a concern.

    (esp with Palin 2012 looming, lol)!

  • James Johnson

    BTW.. The Australian PM’s name is Kevin Rudd, not Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is an actor! :)

  • ddpalmer

    It may be a concern don miguelo. But since there are cheaper alternatives to whale oil and few women wear whale bone corsets these day, the only reason to commercially hunt whales is meat. And I don’t really see countries where people aren’t use to eating whale decided to try and get their populations to try it.

    And hopefully your Palin 2012 comment was, or at least becomes a joke.

    • Dgredy

      omg are you serious between china and japan will eat every whale on the planet!! if this is true we r f…ed because they will be all about it! everybody is going to try to clean their hands about this issue and at the end japan is gonna win! i hate them

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    Finally it seems that reason is starting to creep into the whaling debate. As I have repeatedly stated, lifting the moratorium and resuming limited and sustainable commercial whaling is the best and fairest way to ensure that the rights of whaling nations are protected and the future of the whale species are assured.

    No doubt, the anti-whaling extremists will resist this positive development. It is certainly worrying for Paul Watson and his band of violent thugs as they stand to lose their huge cash cow (excuse the pun). Indeed, it is difficult to imagine they will accept any comprmise as they have too much money and publicity at stake. It will be fascinating to see what deceitful spin they will put on the issue when it comes to bear.

    • ddpalmer

      You bring up a very good point. If Japan stops whaling in the Antarctic and shifts all their whaling to the Northern Pacific, where thay already do limit research whaling, what will the SSCS do? Especially if the IWC approves the commercial hunting. Will they launch a campaign against the Northern whaling or against Iceland and/or Norway? Maybe start in on the Canadian seal hunt again?

      We also see that Australia and New Zealand weren’t against whaling. They were just against whaling near them.

    • no maru is a good maru

      more tripe from the PR dept of the pro-whaling lobby. No whaling is good whaling from any nation.

    • Dgredy

      you and your stupit crap kimitake!!! seriously you dont know what u r talking about, you are the biggest pro-whaling person in this blog.. your facts are stupid!!

    • Dgredy

      and no kimitake never brings good points! NEVER

    • sidewinder

      PR troll!

  • Hart

    It’ll be the last mistake they ever make.

  • Poacher News

    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has issued a November deadline for Japan to bring a halt to its so-called scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean.

    Read more:

  • Poacher News

    New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully: “I am simply trying to make sure that we win friends and influence people.”

    “We’ve managed to see meaningful discussions with the parties that hold opposite views and that’s very welcome,” he said. The only way to quickly stop whaling was by diplomacy, he said. “All of the alternatives involve time, expense and frustration. We may have to go down that path [legal action], but before we choose it, we should exhaust the diplomatic process.”

    Read the full article:

  • Jae

    There is no valid conservation concern with current modern day whaling for food and therefore no reason to be waging yuppie approved cultural demonization campaigns against folks who sustainably (oh yes!) eat whales.

    Demonizing other cultures for their choice of critter on the dinner plate is rude, backwards and everything that good environmentalism is NOT!

    … doing it for fame and money is just evil and should be condemned by all right thinking citizens, the vast majority of whom have no qualms killing animals for food.

    Whales are food too!

    • Dgredy

      jae: the whale spicies is very weak and their numbers are declining very fast and if they start commercial whaling the spicies will be a in alot trouble!!
      i think you and kimitake should go and play with each others ugly hair! and stop taking space with your stupid comments.

      • enola gay

        pro-whaling puppets

    • ddpalmer


      Whales aren’t a species. They are a group of species, some of those species where severely depleted by whaling for oil conducted mostly by the US, USSR, UK and Australia. All of the species are currently showing improved numbers although some are still only a few percent of their pre-hunting levels.

      The Minke whales that the Japanese hunt where not commercially hunted because of their size, so their numbers where not depleted during the hunting for oil.

      The Japanese take less than 1,000 Minke whales a year, a number which has been shown to be sustainable.

      And yes they take very small numbers of other species that cannot be sustainably hunted. These numbers, in the range of 5-15 per year, don’t endanger the species recovery and provide ongoing data which may be useful in further helping the recovery.

      • sidewinder

        and dd, your point is?

      • Gavin MacQueen

        ddpalmer usually doesn’t have a point. She just likes to hear herself type…

  • ddpalmer

    This is the small working group proposal to lift the moratorium and bring all whaling and quotas under the IWC especially research whaling and Norway’s whaling under objection. It will be discussed March 2-4 prior to being presented to the full IWC later this year.

    It looks like Japan’s Antarctic whaling will be phased out over a number of years while their Northern Pacific whaling will be ramped up, although the end numbers will be at least slightly less than the current quotas. Of course since none of the 4 whaling countries reaches their quotas each year, it may actually just lower quotas with no change in the number of whales taken.

    Approval of this will further legitimize Japan, Norway and Iceland in their whaling programs. Australia and New Zealand, the staunch ‘Anti-whaling’ nations were both part of drafting this document. I guess they feel whaling is OK as long as it isn’t near them.

  • ddpalmer

    “Australian, American, Icelandic, and Japanese negotiators declined to reveal their position on the proposal. A number of news organizations, including the Sydney Morning Herald and Japan Today, point to sources that indicate that New Zealand and the United States both support lifting the whaling ban. Repealing the ban would invalidate the argument used by activists of the Sea Shepherd organization to justify the sabotage of whaling efforts in the Antarctic Ocean. Former Japanese Whaling Commissioner Masayuki Komatsu is declaring a preemptive victory against Sea Shepherd, going as far as to say that their presence in the Antarctic at this point is primarily to make Sea Shepherd’s “final” season at sea as costly as possible, and that whaling has become secondary.”

    That would also explain why the SSCS hasn’t seen the harpoon ships. They have probably already started home while the Nisshin Maru captain gets to play with Paul.

    • Gavin MacQueen


      Make up your mind. Why would they be planning to lift a whaling band if you’ve already made it quite clear that you believe that whaling is already legal? Sounds contradictory to me. Please, humor me.

      • Gavin MacQueen


      • ddpalmer

        It is currently legal as you well know.

        The Japanese want the ban lifted so they can whale commercially. That has been their stated reason for 24 years.

        Australia and New Zealand want the ban lifted because it will get the Japanese whalers out of the Antarctic.

        Other nations want to lift the ban because if Japan, Iceland and Norway are whaling under the new commercial proposal then the IWC sets their quotas not the individual countries. This will give them more control over how many whalers are taken. This is something that I have said on this site before. With the IWC setting the quotas fewer whales will be taken than under the current situation.

        And how is it contradictory? Haven’t you ever heard of laws for things that are legal being changed for any of a number of reasons? Like when the speed limits on some highways in the US were raised above 55. Driving was legal before but they changed some of the rules so different conditions were allowed.

      • Gavin MacQueen

        I see, so the japanese poachers want the ban lifted so they don’t have to lie about what they are doing. Thanks for clarifying that…lol

      • animal.lover

        Personally, I would like to see an end to whaling but seeing as it isn’t going to happen, I am trying to find something positive in this. I guess I am wondering if they no longer have to do “scientific research,” does that mean the method of killing will now be more humane (relatively speaking)?

    • ddpalmer

      Gavin as you are fond of say, boy you really are slow.

      Australia and New Zealand want the ban lifted so the Japanese will do their whaling in the North Pacific far away from Australia and New Zealand so they don’t have to deal with it any more. You see they don’t really care about the whales they just want peace and quiet. Whaling is OK with them as long as it is in someone else backyard, so to speak.

      I expect Japan would be perfectly willing to continue with its research whaling.

      • Gavin MacQueen

        Interesting how you know what everyone thinks. Show me one credible source where an Australian and a New Zealand official states that “they don’t really care about the whales they just want peace and quiet.”

        And it must be a statement that clearly states this, not one that you’ve twisted words in order to manipulate the context to fit your reality.

      • agent orange

        No whaling is good whaling. What paer of that dont you understand ddpalmer?

      • ddpalmer

        Sorry Gavin, you know as well as I do that unless I find the exact words you will claim I am just twisting the words.

        agent orange, what part of that is just your opinion dont you understand?

      • Gavin MacQueen

        In other words, you can’t back up your statement. I’m not surprised. So, until you can back up your claim, we will just add your statement to ddpalmer’s list of BS.

        My guess is that you revisited your alleged proof, read it, and realized that it wasn’t going to fly, and then came up with your lame excuse for not posting it. Too funny! Which of course is evidence to me that your proof is not concrete, or you would have posted it.

        “Sorry Gavin, you know as well as I do that unless I find the exact words you will claim I am just twisting the words.” = LAME

  • no maru is a good maru

    Captain Peter Bethune continues to be held prisoner on the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru #2 and is being taken back to Japan. He will be the first New Zealand citizen since World War II to be transported as a prisoner from the Southern Ocean to Japan.

    Scum bags.