Target: President of International Court of Justice, Peter Tomka
Goal: Commend court ruling that halts Japan from hunting whales in Antarctica
The United Nation’s International Court of Justice ruled against Japan, and stated that the country must stop whaling in Antarctica. For animal conservationists, this ruling comes as a huge victory. The decision saddens many in Japan, but the country states that it will adhere to the ruling. Sign this petition and commend the court for protecting our whales.
Despite a ban on commercial whaling by the United Whaling Commission in 1986, Japan used an article in the ban to continue whaling. So long as the whales captured and killed were of scientific research, Japan could continue whaling. A lawsuit brought before the United Nations by Australia, who claimed that Japan’s whaling program was not based on scientific research but for commercial purposes, finally settled the matter. The United Nations’ International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s whaling was not for scientific purposes and the nation had to immediately stop. The court found that Japan was unable to address Australia’s concerns, one of them being whether nonlethal methods could be used instead of lethal methods to collect data.
Japan stated that it needed to collect the whales to obtain biological data about their pregnancy rates, ages at which they reproduce and other data. However animal conservationists note that data of this kind can be collected without killing the whales. Biopsies can be obtained with tissue samples with little harm done to the whale. There is some semblance of scientific research that happens when a Japanese whaling ship catches a whale, but most of the meat goes to the market. The nation also failed to justify their catch of 850 minke whales, 50 fin whales, and 50 humpbacks.
Unfortunately the ban only implicates the big whales, like the minke, humpback, and fins. Dolphins, porpoises, and other smaller to medium sized whales will be hunted. However the ban comes as a small victory and assures animal conservationists that there is support for our water mammals. Sign this petition and commend the International Justice Court for their decision.
Dear President Peter Tomka,
I wish to thank you for ruling in favor of Australia in the case that determined the fate of whales in Antarctica. I understand that many animal conservationists have been growing concerned at the rate whales are being hunted by Japan and to them this is a small victory.
I realize that even though Japan gave their word not to break this ban, the nation has broken the ban before. I also understand that if Japan were to break this law once more, there is little the United Nations can do. As a concerned human being, I will continue to pressure my government and Japan to ensure that whaling of this caliber does not happen again. Again I wish to thank you for your concern towards these great creatures.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gregory Smith via flickr