Finally the UN rules that Japanese Whaling is not Scientific

A friend has just sent me this link to a BBC News’ report. I’ve copied the salient points here and included the link (there are related links on the BBC page). 

The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling programme is not for scientific purposes. Japan catches about 1,000 whales each year for what it calls scientific research.
Australia filed a case with the ICJ in May 2010, arguing that Japan’s programme – under which it kills whales – is commercial whaling in disguise. The court’s decision is considered legally binding. Japan had said earlier that it would abide by the court’s ruling.
Reading out the judgement on Monday, Presiding Judge Peter Tomka ordered a temporary halt to the programme. The court said it had decided, by 12 votes to four, “that Japan shall revoke any extant authorisation, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPA II [Japan’s whaling programme in the Antarctic] and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that programme”.
In a statement, the court said that Japan’s programme involved activities which “can broadly be characterised as scientific research”. However, it said that “the evidence does not establish that the programme’s design and implementation are reasonable in relation to achieving its stated objectives.” It added: “The court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not ‘for purposes of scientific research’ pursuant to [the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling].”


Westhay Nature Reserve

I’ve been visiting Westhay Nature Reserve regularly for three years; ostensibly to photograph the wildlife. But it has always struck me that the landscape of open water, reed bed and marsh is at least as interesting as the wildlife that lives in it. The reserve was a pioneering project by Somerset Wildlife Trust, in the early 1980s. 106 hectares of old peat diggings that have been transformed into a network of open water, reed bed and the largest surviving fragment of lowland acid mire in the south west. What make the landscape so interesting for me is that it is as it would have been when the first settlers, Neolithic farmers, made the marshes their home ­- a mosaic of wetlands, lakes and reed beds alive with hidden wildfowl and fish.


In summer this mire is full of cotton grass.
One of the many alder carrs.