Cessation of Whaling in Antarctic Waters - A Case for Regulation under the Antarctic Treaty
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
The group’s investigations were to determine if the Cessation of whaling in Antarctic waters is a case for regulation under the Antarctic treaty. It was found that the treaty is an apolitical document with no exclusive title or duress under national or international regulation. That is, an area owned by no one but managed by everyone. The Japanese Whaling Research Program states that sustainable use and management of all marine resources should be based on proper scientific findings however, Japan’s research can be difficult to access and to translate. Japan states they need to kill whales to find out their age, diets and sex. But Australian and New Zealand scientists are using non-lethal methods to do similar research without having to kill the whales. Their methods include obtaining faeces and skin samples for diet and age respectively. The Australian branch of the Humane Society International took the Japanese whalers to court due to a breach in the Australia’s Environmental Protection Act. Following four years of deliberation the Federal Court awarded the Australians victory and issued an injunction against Japanese whalers who were hunting in Australia’s claimed area. This injunction however, has been largely ignored by Japan. The court case and its results placed strain on the tenuous relationships under the Antarctic Treaty System. Adding further strain is Greenpeace who consider themselves to be ‘leading’ the struggle against whaling. Greenpeace and other anti-whaling organisations believe that the Japanese Scientific whaling program was invented to disguise the fact that whales are being hunted for their meat. Prolonged deaths of whales are considered deeply unethical by anti-whaling nations. According to the Japanese culture, whaling is considered a vital part of national identity with historical importance dating back until at least the 12th Century. Furthermore there are factions between different environmental groups, with organisations such as Sea Shepherd believing more extreme action against whaling is necessary. Due to the issues of protests over sovereignty, it would prove more beneficial to keep the Antarctic Treaty System intact. The Treaty has protected Antarctica for the past 50 years, by managing national rivalry and territorial disputes. An environmental stance would be more appropriate to protect resources from excessive exploitation. International Whaling Commission Meetings goals are to maintain peaceful purposes in Antarctica, protecting the Antarctic environment, ensure scientific freedom for research and exchanges of information, and to finally create economic benefits for all. These goals could be achieved by reaching out to the youth of Japan to take an anti-whaling stance to potentially unite opposing beliefs of whale conservation and sovereignty.
- Syndicate Reports