Japan hunted more than 40 whales this year in the marine protected area of the Ross Sea, in Antarctica, according to the World Wildlife Fund ( WWF ), which demanded a solution to the legal vacuum that allows it. “The Ross Sea is supposed to have special protection against human activities to safeguard the wildlife of Antarctica.”
Those who celebrated the creation of this ocean sanctuary will be horrified by the slaughter of whales within it, “said Chris Johnson, of the WWF Antarctic program in a statement. The reporting of catches in the Ross Sea, one of the largest protected areas in the world with about 1.55 million square kilometers created in 2006, will be presented on Tuesday at the opening of the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Brazil, according to WWF.
At the meeting, Japan plans to request the resumption of commercial hunting of certain species, including the minke whale, which is estimated to be relatively abundant. “Scientific hunting” WWF said that despite the restrictions in the Ross Sea, Japan has conducted “scientific whaling” taking advantage of legal loopholes, which required the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to seek End this practice.
“Only the IWC can close the legal vacuum that allows whales to be hunted in protected areas, CCAMLR needs to step forward and work with the IWC to make sure that happens,” Johnson emphasized. CCAMLR can not control whaling in the region and, in its place, special permits for the capture of cetaceans can be granted to the member countries of the IWC. In the case of Japan, this NewRep-A permit allows you to hunt 333 minkes each year in the Antarctic Ocean until 2027.
The IWC establishes the minimum support of three-quarters of its 88 members to set catch quotas or “sanctuary” zones where whaling is prohibited, but Tokyo wants to propose lowering it to a simple majority. Japan signed the total moratorium on whaling for commercial purposes established in 1986 to try to conserve the species and that same year it undertook scientific capture programs, which it defends that seek to contribute to the management of marine resources.
The country maintains two programs of this type, one in the North Pacific, on the northern coast of the archipelago, and another in Antarctica, which was considered illegal by the International Court of Justice in March 2014 for not adjusting to “scientific purposes”.