Procedure : 2016/2600(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0862/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 06/07/2016 - 6.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 250kWORD 58k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0853/2016

further to Questions for Oral Answer B8-0702/2016 and B8-0703/2016

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season (2016/2600(RSP))

Marco Affronte, Piernicola Pedicini, Eleonora Evi, Rolandas Paksas, Isabella Adinolfi on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season (2016/2600(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the international moratorium on commercial whaling, declared by the International Whaling Commission,

–  having regard to the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 31 March 2014 in the case concerning whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening),

–  having regard to the Japanese Research Plan for the New Scientific Whale Research Programme in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A),

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season (O-000058/2016 – B8-0702/2016 and O-000059/2016 – B8-0703/2016),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling on all great whale species in 1982, with this ban coming into effect in 1986;

B.  whereas on 31 March 2014, the ICJ ordered Japan to stop whaling in Antarctica, clarifying that its so-called ‘scientific whaling’ is not compatible with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the rulings of the IWC or international law;

C.  whereas Japan, despite this international ban which came into effect in 1986, between then and 2008-2009 killed over 17 000 whales(1), using fake pretexts such as scientific research;

D.  whereas as a consequence, in the 2015-2016 season Japanese whalers took 333 Minke whales in the Southern Ocean, including over 200 pregnant females, under Japan’s specious pseudo-scientific whaling programme NEWREP-A and in defiance of the IWC and the ICJ ruling;

E.  whereas whaling activity, which is still authorised in Japan, Norway and Iceland, can severely endanger biodiversity, as it impacts on the conservation status of whale populations as a whole while at the same time inflicting unfair and unnecessary suffering on individual marine mammals;

F.  whereas the Japanese fleet in the north Pacific alone has the capability to kill per annum up to 200 Minke whales, 50 Bryde’s whales, 100 sei whales and 10 sperm whales in the guise of scientific research;

G.  whereas on 27 November 2015 Japan announced that it would resume so-called scientific whaling in Antarctica, despite the ICJ ruling and after failing to obtain IWC support for its new lethal programme, NEWREP-A, which aims to kill about 4 000 Minke whales in the next 12 years;

H.  whereas scientific permits allow whalemeat to be sold or given away while scientific needs can be met with perfectly innocuous alternatives; whereas DNA sampling and remote monitoring give scientists the opportunity to learn about whales without killing them, and whale samples can be collected from, for example, skin shed by whales, blubber or faecal matter in order to detect possible pathogens;

I.  whereas the Expert Panel of Scientists of the International Whaling Commission has declared that the NEWREP-A plan does not demonstrate the need for lethal sampling to achieve the stated scientific objectives;

J.  whereas whalemeat is no longer part of the Japanese diet; whereas, according to the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research, in 2014 as much as 75 % of the whalemeat put on sale remained unsold;

K.  whereas all the EU institutions, as well as several countries and international bodies, are in favour of a global moratorium on commercial whaling and a ban on international commercial trade in whale products;

L.  whereas there is global international support for designing sea sanctuaries in which all whaling is prohibited for ever;

1.  Urges Japan to stop its whaling activities immediately;

2.  Calls on the Commission and Council to remind Japan of its obligations regarding the protection of marine mammals;

3.  Calls on the ICJ Prosecutor to launch investigations into Japan’s violation of international law and of the IJC judgment of 2014;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Japan, as well as to the ICJ Prosecutor.


Legal notice