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Analysis and Comment (18)

Japan’s whaling program was defeated in The Hague, but that might not stop more whales being taken in the future. Japan’s whaling program was defeated in The Hague, but that might not stop more whales being taken in the future. EPA/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/AAP

Japan could resume whaling – this time with The Hague’s blessing

Japan is reportedly set to release plans to resume killing whales in the Southern Ocean in the 2015-16 season. It seems like a defiant move, coming just six months after the International Court of Justice…
Whales make more than a splash in the southern ocean. Whales make more than a splash in the southern ocean. Micheline Jenner

Bottoms up: how whale poop helps feed the ocean

Centuries of over-exploitation of whales for their meat and blubber has seen populations of most species plummet. But with no small amount of irony, the tables have turned with research discovering that…
Japan’s harvest of endangered minke whales was ruled not to be for scientific purposes. Japan’s harvest of endangered minke whales was ruled not to be for scientific purposes. EPA/Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd Australia/AAP

Whaling win will be a hollow victory without updating the rules

The International Court of Justice’s ruling this week that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program is not scientific does not represent an ultimate victory over whaling. The finer points of the court’s…
Japan has been ordered to quit its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean. Japan has been ordered to quit its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean. Josh/Flickr

Whaling in the Antarctic: Japan’s scientific program illegal

Japan’s Southern Ocean “scientific” whaling program is contrary to international law, the International Court of Justice found last night after a four week trial between Australia and Japan in June last…
Australia brings its last case against the Japanese whaling program. Australia brings its last case against the Japanese whaling program. AAP Image

Whaling in the Antarctic: New Zealand intervenes, Australia concludes

Australia had its second (and last) chance this week to argue against Japan’s whaling program in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But before it did, New Zealand appeared before the Court to provide…
Are whales sacred? That’s what Japan wants to know this week in the International Court of Justice. Are whales sacred? That’s what Japan wants to know this week in the International Court of Justice. Flickr/fugm10

Whaling in the Antarctic: Week 2 – Japan responds

Dispatches from The Hague: Tony Press, CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre at the University of Tasmania, is in The Hague for four weeks of hearings at the International…
Hearings have opened: is Japan’s whaling scientific, or just hunting? Hearings have opened: is Japan’s whaling scientific, or just hunting? International Court of Justice

Whaling in the Antarctic: Australia v. Japan - week one

Dispatches from The Hague: Tony Press, CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre at the University of Tasmania, is in The Hague for four weeks of hearings at the International…
Science or slaughter? Science or slaughter? EPA/Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

On law, science and whales: the case of Australia v Japan

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) meets this week to begin hearing its most prominent case in years. It pits two heavyweights, Australia and Japan, against each other in a legal and political dispute…
Meet a minke whale: should Japan be allowed to continue taking whales in the name of science? Meet a minke whale: should Japan be allowed to continue taking whales in the name of science? Len2040/Flickr

Australia takes Japan to court on whaling – where to now?

From June 26 to July 6 2013 one of the most intriguing environmental court cases in years will be heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Australia has taken Japan to court over…
The Institute of Cetacean Research has accused the Sea Shepherd of ramming its vessels at sea. The Institute of Cetacean Research has accused the Sea Shepherd of ramming its vessels at sea. AAP/The Institute of Cetacean Research

Arrrrrrrrr the Sea Shepherds really pirates?

The US ninth circuit Court of Appeal has decided today that Sea Shepherd activists are pirates. The decision begins with colourful rhetoric about the appearance of pirates throughout fiction, but it addresses…
Sea Shepherd has just launched its new ship, the Sam Simon, but it might not see much action if a US court has its way. Sea Shepherd has just launched its new ship, the Sam Simon, but it might not see much action if a US court has its way. AAP Image/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Carolina Castro

US court harpoons whaling protesters

On Monday a US federal appeals court granted an injunction requiring the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stay at least “500 yards” (457 metres) away from Japanese whaling vessels. It is a significant…
Minke whale breaching: Australian delegates to the International Whaling Commission should not have been surprised by South Korea’s embrace of sanctioned whaling, which we should accept given certain provisos. Minke whale breaching: Australian delegates to the International Whaling Commission should not have been surprised by South Korea’s embrace of sanctioned whaling, which we should accept given certain provisos. Flickr/Martin Cathrae

Korean whaling: looking deeper than posturing and ignorance

South Korea’s announcement to the International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama last week that it would permit “scientific” whaling in accordance with Article VIII of the IWC Convention surprised…
South Korea says following Japan in their whaling pursuits for “scientific” purposes is not open to moral debate. South Korea says following Japan in their whaling pursuits for “scientific” purposes is not open to moral debate. Flickr.Issac Kohane

Can South Korea justify its plans for ‘scientific’ whaling?

The Australian government has sought urgent high level talks over an announcement by South Korea that it intends to resume whaling for “scientific” reasons. South Korea delegate Park Jeong-Seok has told…
Why has Paul Watson suddenly been picked up in Germany on a Costa Rican charge? Why has Paul Watson suddenly been picked up in Germany on a Costa Rican charge? Kay Nietfeld/EPA

What’s in it for Germany? Sea Shepherd arrest ‘absolutely unusual’

Captain Paul Watson, founder of the marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd, was arrested last week in Frankfurt, Germany, on an international arrest warrant issued by the Costa Rican government…
People love to be close to whales. People love to be close to whales. AAP

Watching whales makes more economic sense than hunting them

Whales have become a synecdoche for nature in contemporary society’s debate over how to use the resources of the planet. This has only escalated in recent years with the hotting up of debate between Australia…
Julian Assange isn’t saving the world, so why do we think he’s a hero? Julian Assange isn’t saving the world, so why do we think he’s a hero? the euskadi 11/Flickr

WikiLeaks or Sea Shepherd: who are the outlaw heroes in the age of modern activism?

The case of the three environmental activists who boarded the Japanese whaling vessel, the Shonan Maru 2 last week has divided opinions over the nature of their offence and what treatment they should receive…
The legalities of whaling and protesting aren’t black and white. The legalities of whaling and protesting aren’t black and white. wietse?/Flickr

Sea Shepherd antics make a great story, but the real whaling news is elsewhere

Japanese whaling and Australian opposition to it has become as much a staple for the Australian media in summer as bushfires and the cricket. The level of interest has greatly intensified since Sea Shepherd…

Research Briefs (4)

Humpback whale numbers on the rise

The number of humpback whales in the North Pacific Ocean could be higher than previously thought. 2008 estimates placed the…