Stop the Killing of Whales for Commercial & Research Uses

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Whaling is a large problem. Sei whales, blue whales, fin whales, and other species are all threatened by the inhumane killing of whales for commercial, sport, and research purposes.

Who is causing this?

Japan and Iceland are to blame for most of what is happening. Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission in 2019 to resume sport and commercial whaling, which IWC prohibits with only the exceptions of Iceland and Norway. Japan has also been scientific whaling for a very long time. Iceland hunts a wide variety of whales that are found nearby, including endangered fin whales.

But what is the source of demand for whaling? Sport whaling is simply for fun, while scientific whaling is for "scientific purposes" - really just an excuse to kill whales, while few of the whales that are caught are actually used for scientific purposes. Commercial whaling is solely for whale meat - no other parts are used. 

In 2010, Australia's government decided to take action against whaling by stating a case against Japanese scientific whaling, also known as "special permit whaling". This was a major success and in 2014 a conclusion was reached - Japan agreed to halt scientific whaling in the Antarctic. This, however, did not include the North Pacific whaling nor prevent Japan from whaling in other places as long as they followed IWC standards.

So after this, the goal was to persuade the International Whaling Commission to say no to any whaling whatsoever that is not REAL limited catch. In late December 2018, Japan decided they might leave IWC and later confirmed that they would be leaving and continue commercial whaling. They still agree to cease Southern Ocean whaling, but will continue scientific whaling.

As a result, many condemned and criticized this latest action. The UK and Australia quickly condemned it, and so did Boris Johnson, Jack Ashley, and Erik Solheim, urging them to reconsider. Organizations such as the Society for Animal Care and Greenpeace are urging Japan to reconsider as well.

Iceland and Norway have also resisted the ban on whaling, but they have not yet left the International Whaling Commission. However, it is possible that they too will follow Japan's unsafe and unreasonable lead.

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