Japan flouts Australian Court as they begin another whaling season
Japanese whalers have been sent a formal notice that their continued breach of Australian Federal Court orders will result in enforcement proceedings being pursued against them. The Japanese whale hunt is expected to start any day. This whaling will be in breach of the Court’s 2008 order prohibiting Japan from whaling in the Australian Whaling Sanctuary in Antarctica and also in breach of contempt orders made last year.
Humane Society International, represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW (Environmental Defenders Office) have today sent an official enforcement notice to Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha (Kyodo) with a clear message that further action will be taken if it fails to comply with the Court’s orders. The Court ruled last year that the company’s ongoing whaling was in contempt of the Court’s 2008 ruling requiring all whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary to cease.
The contempt of court judgment said that Kyodo was in "deliberate, systematic and sustained” breach of the 2008 injunction orders and that HSI had established beyond reasonable doubt that Kyodo had killed tens, if not hundreds of whales over four separate annual whaling seasons. Kyodo was therefore found guilty of breaching the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and wilful contempt of court. The company was fined a record $1 million dollars, a verdict which it has so far ignored.
HSI Director Michael Kennedy said today, “With whaling set to resume any day now and Japan in full recognition of the international condemnation of whaling, HSI is today serving an enforcement notice. We are reminding the company that they face fines and prosecution under Australian law.”
“We further call on the Australian government to take firm action against Japan so that they no longer flout Australian law and our federal court rulings.”
“The 2015/2016 whale season saw the deaths of more than 300 whales, among them many pregnant females. HSI wants the annual bloodbath in Antarctica to stop.”