Japanese Whalers Fined $1 Million in Australia

yushin maru whaling japanese cetacean research sea shepherd
A whale tied to the side of Japanese Research vessel Yushin Maru No. 2 is dragged through the ocean in Mackenzie Bay, Antarctica, in this picture provided by Sea Shepherd Australia and taken February 15, 2013. Photo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Australia has fined a Japanese whaling company $1 million for continuing its illegal whale hunts in the Australian whale sanctuary in the Southern Ocean despite a court order ordering it to stop. 

The $1 million fine was handed down in Australian federal court as part of a contempt case against the Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha. 

The court found that the whaling company continued to hunt and kill several whales in the Australian Whale  over the course of four seasons despite a 2008 injunction ordering the company to stop its illegal practices.

The 2008 injunction was imposed following an application by the Humane Society International (HSI).

The verdict was handed down the help of an affidavit provided by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Captain Peter Hammarstedt that was submitted as evidence in the case.

With the Federal Court handing out the fine, Sea Shepherd is now calling on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure that Japan’s illegal whaling operations are at the top of the agenda of his visit to Japan this December.

“The onus for stopping Japan from returning to Antarctica to slaughter whales this year now lies directly with the Australian government. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must ensure that Australia’s stance against whaling in the Southern Ocean is a priority in his upcoming discussions with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinz? Abe. To do otherwise would be to lose the faith of the Australian people who are so passionately committed to the protection of the whales,” said Hammarstedt.