Despite widespread public opposition to the brutal business of whaling – which kills 16,000 whales every year, and has driven the Blue Whale to the brink of extinction – countries such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland have continued to engage in it. Japanese whalers carry out their hunts under the guise of “scientific research,” despite the fact that no scientific papers have ever been published as a result of their expeditions. In 2014, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Japan was banned from hunting whales in Antarctic waters … but a number of Japanese whaling companies have chosen to continue their operations in this area regardless.
Australian groups have been leading the charge against Japanese whaling ships’ misconduct for a long time. Sea Shepherd Australia successfully prevented their efforts to hunt whales in an Antarctic whale sanctuary on multiple occasions, saving almost 750 whales from slaughter in 2014 alone. And now, in a case brought forward by Humane Society International (HSI) Australia, an Australian federal court has found whaling company Kyodo Senpaku guilty of “wilful contempt of court” for failing to adhere to a court order to stop killing whales in the Antarctic sanctuary. The company now faces a fine of AUS $1million ($721,800).