Whaling in the Antarctic

ASOC works to create a future with a prospering unthreatened population of marine life, and supports a global ban on whaling.

"Whaling in the Southern Ocean". A whale is captured by the Yushin Maru, a Japanese harpoon vessel. Photographed by Customs Border Protection Service, Commonwealth of Australia on February 8, 2008.


Since the 1986 IWC ban on whaling, Japan’s continued pursuit of large-scale whaling in the Antarctic Ocean has faced strong opposition by anti-whaling countries.

Japan has conducted its whaling program under scientific research permits, arguing that its purpose is to establish the size and dynamics of whale populations. Countries opposed to Japan's whaling program have passed non-binding resolutions through the IWC to stop the whaling, while Japan claims the whale stocks for some species in the Antarctic Ocean are sufficient to continue its whaling program.

On May 31, 2010, Australia submitted formal proceedings against Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to stop the whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean entirely. Hearing commenced on June 26, 2013 at the ICJ, and oral pleadings by Australia, Japan, and New Zealand will be heard over three weeks.

On March 31, 2014, the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan must temporarily halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic. The ICJ had decided, by 12 votes to four, that Japan should withdraw all permits and licenses for whaling in the Antarctic and refrain from issuing any new ones.

Japan has announced plans to propose a new research program designed to meet the standards set by the ICJ to the IWC's scientific committee in November 2014.

Relevant News


September 18 - Australia and Japan clash at International Whaling Conference - News.com

September 18 - Japan to file new research whaling plan this year - Yahoo!7

September 18 - Japan tells IWC it will resume whaling despite international court's halt order _ The Japan Times

September 17 - Struggle to rein in Japan's plans for a new 'scientific' whaling program - Sydney Morning Herald

September 17  - Japan in new Antarctic whaling program - The Australian

September 15 - Whaling, Greenland hunt gets okay, Iceland blasted - Yahoo News

September 15 - Japan Tops Agenda at 65th International Whaling Commission Meeting in Slovenia - 

September 14 - Japan to unveil redesigned Southern Ocean program following International Court of Justice ruling - Yahoo Small Business Advisor

September 11 - NZ resumes whale protection battle - NZNews 

September 8 - Norway slaughters over 700 whales this season - Mongbay

September 8 - Japan starts 'research' whaling in Pacific coastal waters off Hokkaido - Radio Australia

September 8 - Japan To Resume Hunting Of Minke Whales, Call For Support - Value Walk

September 8 - Japan could resume whaling – this time with The Hague’s blessing - The Conversation

September 7 - Japan starts Pacific 'research' whaling - Phys.org

September 5 - This Is Why Japan's So Called Scientific Whaling Was Found To Be Unlawful - Business Insider

September 4 - Japanese Whalers Plan To Resume Smaller Scale Whaling Through 'Research' - Design and Trend

September 3 - Antarctic Whaling: Japan Seeks To Resume ‘Lethal Research’ Despite UN Ban On Whale Hunts - IBT

September 3 - Japan to target Antarctic minke whales despite U.N. prohibition - Japan Times

September 3 - Japan announces plans to resume whaling in 2015 - Daily Digest

September 2 - Tensions running high as annual dolphin hunt starts in Taiji - Asahi Shimbun

Augsut 18 - A rational conversation on whaling - Japan Times

August 12 - ICJ ruling darkens future for Japanese whale meat businesses - Asahi Shimbun

July 30 - Japan north-west Pacific whaling season begins - Times Live

July 30 - Japan wraps up Pacific whale hunt - Phys.org

July 5 - Government quiet on whaling ahead of Abe visit - Sydney Morning Herald

July 4 - Whaling should be top of agenda for Japanese PM visit - TVNZ

June 29 - Sea Shepherd Slam 'Desperate' Japanese Whalers As Hunting Season Starts - Huffington Post

June 21 - In Killing Whales and Dolphins, Japan Is Hurting Itself - Huffington Post

June 13 - Japan kills 30 whales in 1st hunt since ICJ ruling - Phys.org

June 12 - Japan's Commercial Whaling Efforts Should Resume, Says Prime Minister - Natinoal Geographic

June 12 - Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to work towards commercial whaling hunt despite ICJ ruling - ABC Radio Australia

June 12 - Welcome to Japan’s Whale Week, Featuring Curried Whale Meat And Exploding Harpoons - The Daily Beast

June 12 - Japan's Commercial Whaling Efforts Should Resume, Says Prime Minister - National Geographic

June 11 - Japan's PM Shinzo Abe suggests return to Antarctic whaling - CNN

June 10 - Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to work towards commercial whaling hunt despite ICJ ruling - ABC News

June 10 - Australia and New Zealand condemn Japanese plan to resume whaling - The Guardian

June 10 - Why Japan’s prime minister wants to hunt whales - The Washington Post

June 9 - Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe vows efforts to resume commercial whale hunt - Gulf News

May 16 - Japan wraps up Pacific whale hunt - Phys.org

May 15 - Whale research takes budget hits - The Age

May 13 - Whale meat arrives in Japan from Iceland - The Voice of Russia

May 12 - Japan finds way around ban on whaling - DigitalJournal.com

May 12 - 2000 tons of whale meat arrives in Japan from Iceland - The Japan Daily Press

May 9 - Japan takes aim at whales in north-west Pacific - ABC Online

May 2 - Rethinking Japan's whaling - The Japan Times

April 20 - Japan Plans to Resume Whaling Program, With Changes to Address Court Concerns - NYTimes

April 15 - Japan Says It Will Resume Antarctic Whaling Next Year - Science Magazine

April 11 - Japan accepts ICJ whaling ruling _ The Japan Times

April 5 - Japan caught 251 whales in Antarctic Ocean in fiscal 2013 - The Japan Times

April 3 - Japan Cancels Whale Hunt Off Antarctica After Ruling - NYTimes

April 3 - Japan cancels Antartic whale hunt in wake of ICJ decision - The Japan Daily Press

April 2 - Japan calls off Antarctic whale hunt after ICJ ruling - The Australian

April 1 - Hague court ruling looks to sideline whalers - The Japan Times

April 1 - Japan may suggest smaller whale catch after ICJ blow - Reuters.com

April 1 - UN court rules against Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic - United Nations News Centre

March 31 - Japan Must Halt Whaling Program In Antarctic, Court Says - NPR

March 31 - Japan accepts court ban on Antarctic whaling - BBC News

March 31 - International Court of Justice upholds Australia's bid to ban Japanese whaling in Antarctica - Sydny Morning Herald

March 31 - International Court of Justice to rule on Australia's case against Japanese whaling - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

March 31 - ICJ rules against Japanese whaling - Washington Post

March 30 - Whale chefs await ICJ ruling - The Japan News

March 4 - UN court sets date for whaling judgement _ The Australian

February 24 - Japanese whaling ship attacked us, says Sea Shepherd - The Sydney Morning Herald

January 23 - Prime Minister Tony Abbott will not raise whaling with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

January 23 - Japanese Fishermen Start Whaling _ Austrian Tribune

January 22 - Not Only Dolphins. Japan Keeps Killing Whales, Too - Businessweek

January 6 - Australian gov't urged to stop Japanese whale hunting in Antarctic waters - Xinhua _ English.news





Australia to monitor Japan's Antarctica whale hunt by plane, not ship _ Environment _ theguardian.pdf



Whale meat imports set after 23 yrs - The Japan News



Anti-whaling nations warn against violence in looming Japanese whaling clashes in Southern Ocean _ ABC Radio Australia



December 18 - AFP_ Sea Shepherd sets out to confront Japan whalers on high-seas



Sea Shepherd says it’s ready for more aggression from Japanese whalers - The Japan Daily Press



Whale Wars’ to begin next mission without longtime captain _ New York Post



Japanese fleet heads to Antarctica to harpoon whales - despite pending World Court



Send customs ship to stop whaling_ Greens



Japanese whaling fleet heads for annual Antarctic hunt

December 3

We will monitor whalers_ fed govt — news.ninemsn.com

November 27

The Japanese public’s opinion on whaling_ two different results from single survey - The Japan Daily Press.pdf

November 27

Sea Shepherd says it’s ready for more clashes with Japanese whalers - The Japan Daily Press

November  8

Japan to push wider sales of whale meat to make up financial losses - The Japan Daily Press

November 8 Greg Hunt and Julie Bishop at odds over whaling monitoring _ Environment _ theguardian
October 17 Julie Bishop backflip over whaling patrol ship
August 28 Whaling's day in court is a sea change for conservation _ Georgina Kenyon _ Comment is free _ theguardian
August 21 Reasons for opposing whaling _ The Japan Times
August 14 Whaling Debate Has Hypocrites All Around - Bloomberg
August 13 Protesters or Pirates? Courtney Minick _ Verdict _ Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia
August 10 In science terms, Japan has no need at all to kill whales _ The Japan Times
August 7 On Japanese People and Whales _ Hiroshi Yamaguchi.pdf
July 30 Commentary_ Whaling no longer makes sense - The Santa Fe New Mexican_ Commentary
July 30 4 Things To Know About the Sea Shepherd This Summer _ Care2 Causes
July 29 Harpooning ourselves in the foot
July 29 Column_ This Is the Ideal Time to Bring an End to All Whale Hunting _ Valley News
July 24 More funding for non-lethal whale research sends clear message, says minister - Yahoo!7
July 23 Hang up the harpoons, Japan - latimes
July 22 Whale watch_ waiting for the ICJ decision
July 19 World court hearings on Japanese whaling draw to an end - The Japan Times
July 17 Sea Shepherd 'barred from International Court of Justice' on last day of hearings into Japan's whaling program - ABC News
July 17 Japan raises spectre of whaling treaty withdrawal
July 17 Whaling in the Antarctic: the case concludes
July 17 ICJ hearings on Japan’s whaling near end - The Japan News
July 16 UN court not a medieval inquisition_ Japan _ The Australian
July 16 Sky News_ Japan will abide by ICJ whaling decision
July 16 Australia confident that Japan will abide by ICJ decision on whaling case - The Japan Daily Press
July 16 Australia accused of 'affront' to Japan's dignity in whaling case _ Environment _ guardian.co
July 16 WWF statement on ICJ whaling case
July 13 Whaling in the Antarctic, New Zealand intervenes, Australia concludes
July 11 Australia calls for immediate halt to Japanese whaling
July 11 Final legal attack launched on Japanese whaling
July 10 Anti-whaling case_ Dreyfus denies Japan's claims Australia in bed with Sea Shepherd - ABC News
July 10 Attorney-General accuses Japan of 'commercial whaling dressed up as science' - 10_07_2013
July 10 Aust expects Japan to accept ICJ rule _ Herald Sun
July 10 Dreyfus dismisses Japanese claims of collusion with Sea Shepherd _ Environment _ guardian.co
July 10 Isaacs MP Dreyfus takes on Japan over whaling _ Maroondah & Yarra Ranges Weekly
July 10 Sea Shepherd ready to fight whalers _ The Australian
July 10 Sharp rebuke for Japan as Dreyfus appears in whaling case
July 10 Japan's defence of whaling 'offensive' _ The Australian
July 9 New Zealand intervenes in whaling case
July 9 Australia v. Japan: Face Off Over Whaling At the UN Criminal Court
July 8 Sea Shepherd supports commercial whaling legal challenge _ Scoop News
July 8 NZ to make submission in whaling case - NZ Environment news
July  8 Australian Government legal action against Japanese whaling
July 5 Whaling in the Antarctic_ Week 2 – Japan responds.pdf
July 4 Japan opens defense of Antarctic whaling - The Japan News.pdf
July 4 Japan presents scientist as expert witness in whaling trial at ICJ - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
July 4 Japan says whaling is legal, would not give it up - Tokyo Times.pdf
July 4 Japan's expert backs whaling as science _ The Australian.pdf
July 4 Japan's man doubts whale kill.pdf
July 3 Dreyfus rejects Japan claims on whaling
July 3 Japan blasts Australia over whaling ban campaign.pdf
July 3 Japan criticizes Australia for imposing its whaling policy on other countries - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
July 3 Japan Defends Its Whaling At International Court.pdf
July 3 Japan Denies Australia’s Anti-Whaling Case At.pdf
July 3 Japan rejects 'alarmist' Australia's case against whaling at International Court of Justice.pdf
July 3 Japan says at International Court that Whaling is Meant for Research _ French Tribune.pdf
July 3 Japan slams Australia for 'moral crusade' on whaling at International Court of Justice _ News.com
July 3 Whales abundant; Australia 'politicising science', Japan tells The Hague.pdf
July 3 Whaling decision is ours alone, Japan claims.pdf
July 2 Japan attacks Australian role in whaling 'moral crusade' _ Environment _ guardian.co.pdf
July 2 Japan Defends Whale Killing Activities In International.pdf
July 2 Japan Defends Whaling Program During Second.pdf
July 2 Japan opens world court defense of whaling.pdf
July 2 Japan says Australia trying to impose its culture.pdf
July 2 Japan to defend whaling programme.pdf
July 2 Japan to start defense in whaling case at ICJ - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
July 2 Japan_Australia whaling row _ Blouin News.pdf
July 1 Carr raises whaling with Japanese _ The Australian.pdf
June 28 Expert witness tells ICJ that Japan’s whaling is not science - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 28 Japan seizes on Aus expert in whaling case.pdf
June 28 Japan, Australia start ICJ whaling battle - The Japan News.pdf
June 28 License revoked_ Australia takes Japan to court to stop whaling hunts.pdf
June 27 ICJ opens hearings in Japan whaling dispute.pdf
June 27 Sea Shepherd to support Australia in ICJ case against Japan’s whaling - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 26 Australia takes grievance on Japan’s whaling to UN Court of Justice - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 26 Australia to world court_ Ban Japanese whaling - The Denver Post.pdf
June 26 Australia-Japan Dispute over Whaling - NL Times.pdf
June 26 Japan defends its whaling as scientific, sustainable - NorthJersey.pdf
June 26 Public hearings concerning whaling in the Antarctic _ Scoop News.pdf
June 24 Deputy Foreign Minister to defend Japan in anti-whaling case - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 23 Attorney-General wants Japanese whaling outlawed before next hunting season - ABC News.pdf
June 21 Crikey Clarifier Australia v Japan in a whale of a case.pdf
June 18 Japan to insist on legitimacy of whaling program at int'l court _ GlobalPost.pdf
June 14 75% of Japan’s whale meat goes unsold - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 6 Japan’s spring whale hunt nets record low catch - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
June 3 Japan’s whaling industry to advertise meat as nutritious to improve weak sales - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
April 12 Norway exports whale products to Japan, defies international trade ban - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
April 9 Aust, Japan head to UN court over whaling _ SBS World News.pdf
February 27 Fisheries minister says Japan will not stop whale hunting
February 12 Japan loses whale-meat monopoly due to Iceland’s entry in market - The Japan Daily Press.pdf



November 27 The Japanese public’s opinion on whaling_ two different results from single survey - The Japan Daily Press.pdf
November 8 Japan to push wider sales of whale meat to make up financial losses - The Japan Daily Press.pdf



ICJ documents


March 31 - ICJ Australia v Japan Judgment

March 31 - Summary of the Judgment

March 31 - ICJ Press Release


July 17 - Conclusion of the public hearings - Court to begin its deliberation

June 12 - Press Release: Public hearings in the case concerning Public admission and media accreditation

April 11 - Press Release: Whaling in the Antarctic

February 13 - Press Release: The Court authorizes New Zealand to intervene in the proceedings

February 6 - Order: Declaration of Intervention by New Zealand


November 21 - Press Release: New Zealand files a declaration of intervention in the proceedings under Article 63 of the Statute

May 18 - Press Release: Closure of written proceedings


July 20 - Press Release: Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings

July 13 - Order: Fixing of time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings

June 1 - Press Release: Australia institutes proceedings against Japan for alleged breach of international obligations concerning