Japan has been condemned by Australia after announcing it will resume whaling in the Antarctic, after a break of more than a year, ignoring an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that it ceases the activity. The Japanese government says that, although it has taken into account the ruling it will only be conducting a "scientific" programme starting early next year.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that it will resume a revised whaling schedule in the 2015-2016 season leading to international outrage. Australian environment minister Greg West said: "Australia strongly opposes the decision by Japan to resuming whaling in the Southern Ocean this summer. We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called 'scientific research'."
Last year Australia challenged Japan's whaling practices in the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands, which ruled the Asian country was not conducting scientific research. Plans from the Japanese government include a reduction of an annual cull of minke whales by two-thirds to 333.
Former Baywatch star, model and spokeswoman for animal rights charity Peta Pamela Anderson took to Twitter and said: "Whales help stabilise the food chain and reproduction of other animals, when whales are killed the ocean becomes destabilised."
Japan began its controversial scientific whaling programme in 1987, a year after an international whaling moratorium took effect. Japan has insisted that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is part of its food culture, but has been condemned by conservation organisations, such as Greenpeace, as well as other governments.