Japan Continues Whaling in the Antarctic

 

The Japanese government has stated that it will continue its whaling program  in the Antarctic Ocean . Last year an international court ruled that Japan should stop hunting whales in the Antarctic. After a year-long pause the country has introduced a new program which will kill 333 whales each summer, for scientific research, as Japanese experts say. This number is much lower than the 900 whales that Japan killed in the past years.

Australia, New Zealand,  the United States and other countries are strongly against Japan's decision to resume hunting the endangered mammals. In the past Australia brought Japan to court in an attempt to forbid the hunting of whales in the southern hemisphere.

Commercial whaling ended in 1986 when the International Whaling Commission banned  it. Since then countries are allowed to kill whales for scientific purposes and research. At the beginning of the 1990s the IWC declared the seas around the Antarctic continent as safe habitat for whales and forbade whaling there altogether.

 

Japan has always been against the worldwide ban on hunting whales. It says that whales are not an endangered species and eating whale meat is a part of its culture. Japanese authorities say they will continue the fight for the right to hunt whales.

 

Japanese Whaling Vessel

Japanese Whaling Vessel - Image: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

 

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Words

  • attempt = try
  • authorities = organisation that has power and can make decisions in a country
  • ban = forbid, not allow
  • commercial = when you sell products and make money
  • court =place where a judge makes decisions when two people or countries have different opinions about something
  • declare = to say officially
  • endangered = in danger of dying out
  • forbid - forbade = not allow
  • habitat = place where plants or animals live
  • hemisphere = half of the world north or south of the equator
  • mammal = type of animal that drinks milk from its mother's body when it is young
  • scientific = about science or using methods of science
  • species = group of animals or plants that are alike
  • state = to say officially
  • purpose = reason; what you want to do
  • research = to study something in order to find out new facts about it
  • resume = continue
  • right = something that you are allowed to do
  • rule = to come to a decision
  • whaling = the hunting of whales
  • worldwide = the whole world