Japan cancels plan to kill 50 humpback whales
December 21, 2007
Environmentalists welcomed the decision but still criticized Japan's plans to kill 50 fin and 935 minke whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Japan has killed some 6500 minke whales in the area since 1987.
Annual whale harvest from 2001-2006 (2006 figures are not complete). Graph by mongabay.com, data from Science, background image courtesy of R. Wicklund OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP); University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Humpback whales are listed under appendix A of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), though populations are increasing.
Earlier this year Iceland called off plans to resume whaling. At the time, it said lackluster demand -- not pressure from outside groups -- was the reason for the decision. The island nation had faced calls for a tourism boycott after announcing it would end its ban on commercial whaling in 2006.