For the first time in more than twenty-five years, whales migrating through Antarctic waters will no longer be under threat by the Japanese whaling fleet.
In light of the recent ruling by the ICJ declaring Japan’s “scientific research” as a smokescreen for commercial hunting in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, officials today declared the 2014-2015 as officially cancelled.
“We have decided to cancel research whaling [in the Antarctic] for the fiscal year starting in April because of the recent ruling,” a fisheries agency official told AFP.
While this is a huge victory and, in the words of Paul Watson, vindication for the efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Japan still has its sights set on whaling in other places around the world.
“We plan to go ahead with research whaling in other areas as scheduled”, including the northern Pacific, the source said.
With one victory in hand, the Sea Shepherd will now turn its attention towards disrupting whaling in other areas of the world including the North Atlantic, Iceland, Norway and the Danish Protectorate of the Faeroe Islands.
In an interview, outgoing chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia Bob Brown said he also expects the group to focus on Japan’s activities in the Northern Pacific.
“With 90 per cent of the world’s fisheries in collapse, the coral reefs going west…with issues like shark culling…Sea Shepherd has a big job in front of it,” he said.
For now, let’s all briefly enjoy this sweet victory for the whales.