Procedure : 2016/2600(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0863/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 06/07/2016 - 6.13
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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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))

Linnéa Engström, Benedek Jávor, Bart Staes on behalf of the Verts/ALE 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 its resolution of 25 October 2012 on EU trade negotiations with Japan(1),

–  having regard to Resolution 2014-5 on whaling under special permit (known as scientific whaling), adopted by the International Whaling Commission at its 65th Annual Meeting in Slovenia in 2014,

–  having regard to the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2014 in the case concerning whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening), which concluded that Japan’s whaling was not for purposes of scientific research,

–  having regard to the new Japanese whaling 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 Japan, despite this international ban, has continued whaling for so-called scientific purposes, and killed over 17 000 whales(2) in the period between 1986, when the ban came into effect, and 2008/2009;

C.  whereas Japan’s whaling causes severe and prolonged suffering to individual animals, as well as threatening the conservation status of whale populations as a whole;

D.  whereas all species of great whales are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);

E.  whereas the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its judgment of 31 March 2014 rejected Japan’s scientific whaling programme and considered that the special permits granted by Japan to kill, take and treat fin, humpback and Antarctic minke whales do not fall within the provisions of Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, nor are they in conformity with its obligations under several paragraphs of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;

F.  whereas, despite this verdict of the ICJ, Japan, after an interruption in 2014, resumed its whaling activities in 2015 under NEWREP-A;

G.  whereas Japan has, for many years, been engaged in the commercial trade of whale meat and products, despite the fact that they are listed in Appendix I to the CITES;

H.  whereas under the NEWREP-A programme, Japan plans to hunt a total of 3 996 minke whales during a 12-year period;

I.  whereas the expert panel of scientists of the International Whaling Commission that considered and reviewed NEWREP-A concluded that the proposal did not demonstrate the need for lethal sampling to achieve the stated objectives;

J.  whereas the Commission, the Council and Parliament support the maintenance of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and a ban on international commercial trade in whale products, seek to end so-called scientific whaling and support the designation of substantial regions of ocean and seas as sanctuaries in which all whaling is indefinitely prohibited;

K.  whereas the EU and its Member States have criticised Japan for resuming activities and for not paying sufficient regard to the guidance found in the 2014 ICJ opinion; whereas in December 2015 they joined New Zealand in a demarche vis-à-vis the Government of Japan;

L.  whereas negotiations on an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were officially launched on 25 March 2013;

M.  whereas trade policies should, inter alia, serve as a means to improve respect for human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection, including protection of marine mammals;

1.  Calls on Japan to respect the ICJ’s decision and stop all its whaling activities;

2.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to urge Japan, in the context of the ongoing EU-Japan FTA negotiations, to commit to its international legal obligations regarding the protection of marine mammals;

3.  Declares that Japan’s continued whaling activities constitute an impediment to the conclusion of the EU-Japan FTA;

4.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to raise the issue of Japan’s failure to abide by the ICJ decision in all meetings with representatives of the Government of Japan and to urge Japan to reconsider its position;

5.  Urges the Council and the Commission, when drafting an updated EU common position on whaling after IWC66 in October, to take an approach that is at least as precautionary as the present common position (Proposal for a Council Decision establishing the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Union at the next five meetings of the International Whaling Commission including the related inter-sessional meetings with regard to proposals for amendments to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling and its Schedule (COM(2011)0495));

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Japan.


OJ C 72 E, 11.3.2014, p.16.


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