Japan withdraws from the International Whaling Convention

  • Joint media release
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women
  • Senator the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
02 July 2019

Japan's withdrawal from the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and its decision-making body, the International Whaling Commission, has now taken effect and Japan is resuming commercial whaling within its waters.

As part of Japan's withdrawal, Japan announced that it would stop whaling in the Southern Ocean. This means that the vast Southern Ocean is now a true sanctuary for whales. Japan has also indicated it will continue to cooperate with the Commission as an observer.

While the Australian Government welcomes the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean, we are disappointed that Japan has withdrawn from the Convention and is resuming commercial whaling. We continue to urge Japan to return to the Convention and the Commission as a matter of priority.

The Australian Government's position on whaling has not changed. We remain opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called 'scientific' whaling.

Australia will continue to invest in the work of the International Whaling Commission as the leading global body for the conservation and management of whales. We will continue to work hard with all Commission members to uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling and promote whale conservation.

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