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Japan spares humpbacks to end whaling ban
Campaign Whale Press Release – No embargo
Japan spares humpbacks - but only to end whaling ban
Today’s announcement that Japan will not kill 50 humpback whales this winter could spell the end of the 21 year old ban on commercial whaling said a whale protection group today.
Campaign Whale fears that a deal has been struck to negotiate the lifting of the whaling ban at a special intercessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to be held next March in London. The annual meeting could vote on proposals to lift the ban as early as next June.
After bilateral negotiations with the United States, Japan surprisingly announced today that they would spare the 50 humpbacks. However, the humpbacks are just a tiny portion of a massive whale slaughter, the biggest since commercial whaling was banned,  that will take place in Antarctica over the next 3 months, including 950 minke and 50 fin whales.
Japan has already killed almost 500 whales in the north-Pacific for ‘research’ this summer including endangered minke, sei, Bryde’s and sperm whales - to little protest. Campaign Whale believes that the popular ‘singing’ humpbacks, subject to a huge international whale-watching industry, were simply a cynical ploy to persuade governments that they must agree to lift the whaling ban for other species.
“We believe that Japan has spared the humpbacks in exchange for a commitment from the United States and other governments to agree a plan to lift the commercial whaling ban, possibly as soon as next year” said Campaign Whale Director Andy Ottaway,
“The sad reality is that countless thousands of whales face a cruel death unless and until world governments stand up to Japan and tell them that whaling must end, or face economic and political sanctions.”
“All diplomacy has failed to force Japan, Norway and Iceland to end the cruel slaughter of whales.  Japan is clearly intent on brokering a deal to kill countless whales in the future. If they succeed, these spared humpbacks are a very hollow victory indeed”
For further information please contact Andy Ottaway on:
01273 471403 Mobile: 07855 666069.
Editors Notes:
  • Japan has killed almost 20,000 whales during the whaling ban, mostly under the guise of ‘research’
  • Japan also kills up to 20,000 smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises each year that they claim are exempted from the IWC’s whaling ban
  • The IWC is considering a compromise plan to lift the whaling ban at a special meeting in London next March. Voting could take place by the full Commission in June.
  • A meeting will take place in Tokyo in January where compromise proposals will be discussed to ban whaling in the southern hemisphere only. That would allow whaling by Japan, Norway and Iceland to continue under authority of the IWC.