Japan Hunting Whales to Their Extinction for the Sake of Research
Commercial whaling has been in existence since the 11th century, but it wasn’t until the 18th century, when whaling started happening on a large scale due to the development in hunting techniques and whaling ships. By the time of the mid - 20th century, these whaling exhibitions became so extensive that several species of whale had literally come to the verge of extinction. However, due to persistent opposition from animal rights group, International Whaling Commission (IWC) decided to ban commercial whaling permanently in 1986. In spite of the ban, Japan refused to comply with the IWC rules and still continues to hunt whales.
Why does japan support whaling?
After the 1986 ban, Japan has been able to find a loophole in the IWC guidelines that allow countries to hunt whales for the purpose of scientific research. Japan claims that through this research, they want to study the size, dynamics and examine the effect of environmental changes on different species of whale. But various anti-whaling nations claim that these testing’s can be conducted harmlessly, through modern techniques without killing even a single whale.
Critics claim that these researches have been initiated to merely cover up their commercial whaling activities. It has been found that the meat from the whales killed for the sake of research ends up in supermarkets for the people to buy. In Japan, eating whale meat is an age-old tradition and thus stopping them from whaling is seen as a threat to their culture by the Japanese people.
Despite of the IWC rulings, Japan has decided to embark on a fresh whale hunting tour in 2015 and plans to kill over 4000 whales in a period of the next 12 years.