Costa Rica and others protest whaling expeditions by Japan

The Latin American contingent of the International Whaling Commission group has announced that they are in opposition to Japan’s new season of so-called scientific whale hunting in the Antarctic water.

Japan has abstained from commercial whale hunting since the mid-80s but the designation of the whaling excursions as scientific is used as a loophole each year to allow the practice to continue.

The regional component of the International Whaling Commission includes the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, México, Panamá, Perú, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

They are known as the Buenos Aires Group.
The group countries have said they are opposed to Japan’s whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which was designated as such by the commission. Japan’s whaling ships departed from ports this week to begin the expedition into those waters.

“The Buenos Aires Group makes public its most firm rejection against the continued whale hunt, including species classified as endangered, in the Southern Ocean Santuary,” said a press release published by the alliance.

That press release was circulated Dec. 8 by the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones, at a time when the President Laura Chinchilla is on a diplomatic trip to Japan in an attempt to strengthen ties.

Japan’s whaling fleets will typically kill hundreds of whales in a season, including species that are considered protected.

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