Japan – Withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission (26 December 2018)

France regrets the decision taken by Japan on December 26, in which it announced that it would withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and would resume whale hunting in July 2019.

The International Whaling Commission remains the only body that considers all the social and environmental factors relating to cetaceans. Japan’s decision to leave this body sends a negative signal for environmental multilateralism at a crucial time for protecting biodiversity.

France supports the 1986 moratorium on commercial hunting and opposes hunting in the name of scientific research. Nowadays whales are less threatened by hunting, but marine mammals are facing other threats: bycatch, collisions with vessels, underwater noise pollution resulting in beaching, pollution, and plastic debris in the sea.

France wishes to continue talks with Japan to find a solution that will strengthen existing multilateral frameworks while protecting these mammals that are emblematic of our planet.