Success: Cruel Whaling “Loophole” Receives Scrutiny

Target: Secretary of the International Whaling Commission, Dr. Simon Brockington

Goal: Applaud restrictions and stricter reviews of so-called “scientific” whale hunts and push for more binding solutions against whale hunting.  

In a modest victory for whale conservation, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to conduct stricter reviews of whales killed in so-called “scientific hunts.” This is a step towards closing a loophole in the 1986 moratorium on whale hunting which allowed hunting whales for the purpose of research. This loophole had been exploited by the Japanese whaling industry to net an estimated 15,000 whales in the past 30 years, claiming to be “collecting scientific data.” Last year, Japanese whalers killed 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean, many of which were reportedly pregnant.

Stricter reviews may reveal the extent to which “scientific whale hunts,” are often clandestine commercial whale hunts, and may provide data to support closing the loophole entirely. This move comes after political pressure from a number of animal welfare and conservation groups as well as petitions such as these ForceChange petitions. Sign our petition and applaud this move and push the IWC to close the loophole entirely.


Dear Secretary Brockington,

I am writing to applaud the IWC decision to conduct more intensive reviews of so-called “scientific whaling hunts.” As you know, since 1986, the Japanese whaling fleet has killed an estimated 15,000 whales based upon this exception to the moratorium. This includes the 333 minke whales, some reportedly pregnant, caught in 2015. I hope that these reviews will shed light on the extent that scientific whaling hides and legitimizes a commercial whaling industry.

However, once the IWC has data and evidence concerning commercial whaling masquerading as scientific hunts, the IWC must act. Either member states must lose the right to unilaterally issue scientific whaling licenses, or the loophole must be closed entirely.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    save all animals in the ocean!

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