Japan plans to continue its whaling operations in Antarctica for scientific research.
Although the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling in 1986, Japan has continued to hunt whales under a research loophole in the ban.
Japan currently has plans to send whaling ships this winter to Antarctica to catch over 300 minke whales, the whale family which includes the humpback whale, fin whale, and Bryde’s whale, a year until 2027 for whale stock management and conservation.
The IWC released a report Friday saying it wasn’t able to determine whether the lethal sampling of the whales was necessary, and that Tokyo hasn’t proven that the whales necessarily need to be killed for research.
Joji Morishita, Japan’s IWC representative said at a conference, “We have not changed any policies and our goal. Japan will respond sincerely to scientifically backed comments from Friday’s report.”
The Japanese plan to submit additional data to support their side of the argument, but will still send ships to the Antarctic this winter regardless.
Japan’s whaling numbers have dropped in recent years as the demand for whale meat has decreased due to whale advocate group protests and global outcry.