Skip to main content

U.N. court orders Japan to halt whale hunt

By Saeed Ahmed, CNN
April 1, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Japan's fleet carries out an annual whale hunt despite a worldwide moratorium
  • The Australian government challenged the whaling program

(CNN) -- The International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan can no longer continue its annual whale hunt, rejecting the country's argument that it was for scientific purposes.

"Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or license granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that program," the court said, referring to the research program.

The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

Japanese fishermen hose down a Baird\'s Beaked whale at Wada Port on June 21, 2007 in Chiba, Japan.
Japanese fishermen hose down a Baird's Beaked whale at Wada Port on June 21, 2007 in Chiba, Japan.

Japan's fleet carries out an annual whale hunt despite a worldwide moratorium, taking advantage of a loophole in the law that permits the killing of the mammals for scientific research. Whale meat is commonly available for consumption in Japan.

Each year, environmental groups such as Sea Shepherd pursue the Japanese hunters in an attempt to disrupt the whaling. The resulting confrontations have led to collisions of ships and the detention of activists.

The Australian government challenged the Japanese whaling program in the International Court of Justice, leading to Monday's ruling.

READ: Sea Shepherd activists say they disrupted Japan's whale hunt in Antarctic waters

PHOTOS: Waiting for the whales

Japan officials defend dolphin hunting in Taiji Cove

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1612 GMT (0012 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1557 GMT (2357 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT