Minke whale caught by the Japanese whaling fleet

G20 urged to make intervention as summit host Japan launches new whale killing programme

Today (28 June) we join with conservation groups and celebrities from around the world to collectively call for an ‘international whaling intervention’ to be staged at the G20 summit in Osaka as summit host Japan prepares to launch a renewed commercial whaling programme.

The programme will see Japan openly killing sei, Bryde’s and minke whales for consumption, with no pretense of science.

Letters have been sent to all G20 leaders calling on them to publicly object at the summit to Japan’s commercial whaling intentions and to deliver a joint declaration calling for the end to all commercial whaling globally.

Documenting whale meat on sale in a market, Japan (c) EIAimage

Celebrities Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Dr Jane Goodall, Liz Bonnin, Steve Backshall, Virginia McKenna and Nicky Campbell, alongside more than 100 conservation charities and champions within almost all the countries in the G20 are backing pleas for international anti-whaling pressure to be placed on Japan.

There is no commercial or other pressing need for Japan to relaunch its whaling activity, as consumption of whale meat in Japan declined by almost 99 per cent between 1962-2017; in 2017, Japanese Government data showed that fewer than 4,000 tonnes were eaten.

There is, however, a pressing need to prevent further declines in whale numbers. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) international ban on commercial whaling, agreed in 1982, has helped great whale populations increase, saving several from extinction.

Yet many whale populations remain low or endangered – and all whales face the huge threats of fishing-related deaths, ship collisions and climate change as well as chemical, litter and noise pollution.

G20 leaders have the ideal opportunity at the Osaka summit to echo public opinion on the need for Japan to end this cruel and unnecessary practice. Peaceful anti-whaling protest events will also be taking place in London, Edinburgh and other cities around the world on Saturday to draw attention to this issue.