HSI’s work to protect whales runs to the very depths of our oceans, not only in Australia but across the globe. We have been at the forefront of whale conservation in the courts, at the International Whaling Commission, and through advocacy with governments. We are determined to see an end to the hunting of whales for commercial purposes and more areas of our oceans set aside as sanctuaries for these magnificent marine mammals.

Commercial whaling is currently undertaken by Japanese, Norwegian and Icelandic ships.

Sadly, Japanese whaling ships continue to kill hundreds of whales every year in the Southern Ocean despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling being declared at the International Whaling Commission in 1986. More than 10,000 have been killed by Japanese whalers since the moratorium began.

HSI has successfully challenged Japan’s so-called scientific whaling program through the Australian Federal Court. After a four year-long court battle, in 2008 the court declared Japanese whaling in the Australian Sanctuary in Antarctica to be a breach of Australian law and issued an injunction ordering the hunt be stopped. HSI secured a further ruling that continued Japanese whaling is in contempt of court and the whalers were ordered to pay a one million dollar fine.

Sadly thus far Japan has ignored the injunction and the fine and the Australian Government has done nothing to enforce it.

HSI strongly condemns not only the Japanese whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, but also the other whale hunts conducted by Japan, Norway and Iceland in the northern hemisphere.

HSI also campaigns for greater protection for whales through the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS). We have successfully persuaded the Australian government to nominate a number of whale and dolphin species for listing under the CMS which has led to the development of regional conservation initiatives in the Pacific.

We continue to work to ensure these beautiful creatures are protected in the oceans of the world for a long time to come.

Take action by telling the Japanese Ambassador to Australia you do not support Japan's commercial whaling and want to see it be a leader for whales instead.


Dolphins are one of the most intelligent ocean creatures, and their highly social nature makes them much loved animals across the world. Like other marine species, dolphins are under threat from marine debris and fishing operations where they are caught and killed in fishing nets as bycatch. We campaign for stronger domestic policies to protect our dolphin populations from these fishing operations.

Many bottlenose and common dolphins are also being killed in shark nets in NSW and Queensland. We are campaigning to end these shark culling programs to ensure no more dolphins are caught and killed by them.

HSI also opposes the captivity of dolphins for use in entertainment facilities, be that in Australia or overseas. There are currently around 36 dolphins in captivity in Australia in two marine entertainment facilities.

We also support the efforts of local groups in Indonesia to end the use of the dolphins in travelling circuses. These dolphins are illegally caught from the wild and transported over long distances and kept in over chlorinated water. There are around 70 of these dolphins currently in captivity in Indonesia.

Images: HSI/AMCS/N McLachlan (Header); Scott Portelli; Brett Jarrett