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EU Parliament calls on Japan to stop whaling or risk harpooning trade talks

IFAW | Thursday, October 25, 2012

EU Parliament calls on Japan to stop whaling or risk harpooning trade talks

The European Parliament today called for an end to Japanese so-called ‘scientific whaling’ as part of a resolution on EU-Japan trade talks. The adopted text notes the serious divergences between the EU and Japan on issues related to the management of fisheries and whaling, notably Japan’s whaling under the guise of science.

This news was welcomed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW -

The resolution calls on the EU Council to authorize the Commission to begin free trade negotiations with Japan. In June Parliament requested that the Council hold its decision on the matter until Parliament has expressed its views.

“Parliament could not be clearer in their priorities,” said Barbara Slee IFAW Political Officer. “They are in favour of trade and growth with trade partners who fulfil their international obligations like respecting the ban on commercial whaling.”

Since the passage of the Lisbon Treaty all trade agreements need to be approved by the European Parliament.

“This is wonderful news for whales who face more threats now than ever before,” continued Slee. “The Commission now has extremely clear instructions. The most direct path to successful negotiations is for Japan to take note of the EU’s stated goal of an end to so-called scientific whaling and the creation of a sanctuary.”

"Today the European Parliament reiterated its total opposition to commercial and so-called scientific whaling,” said MEP David Martin.” As the EU comes closer to launching negotiations with Japan for a free trade agreement we call on Japan to review its whaling strategy and respect the global ban on this outdated and barbaric practice."

Since 1987 Japan has killed more than 13,000 whales in its two ‘scientific whaling’ programs.

“The EU supports the global ban on commercial whaling and this trade deal must reflect this position.,” concluded Slee.

A 2009 Copenhagen Economics study showed potential export gains from a free trade agreement to be €43bn for the EU and €53bn for Japan.

 source: IFAW