The BBC reports that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan’s annual Southern Ocean whale hunt is primarily a commercial undertaking, rather than a scientific one. In addition, the ICJ has ordered a temporary halt to the whaling program. The court’s decision was announced by Presiding Judge Peter Tomka who said that “the court 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.”
The case was brought before the court by the Australian government four years ago. The Japanese representatives at the court have said that they are disappointed by the decision, but will abide by it. Assuming this to be the case, this will spell the end of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean.
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