South Korea officially announced this week that it would not begin “scientific” whaling—the killing whales for scientific research—of minke whales this year and would instead use non-lethal methods to conduct research.
WWF is pleased with this decision, and sees this as a conservation victory for the endangered population of whales.
Voices speak up for whales
In July 2012, South Korea announced plans to begin so-called “scientific” whaling in 2013, taking advantage of a loophole within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) treaty. They claimed that an over-abundance of minke whales has been harming fish stocks. Their rationale and proposal received fierce opposition from many IWC member governments and conservation organizations.
WWF met with South Korean officials to express our concern over this proposal and to ask for continued non-lethal whale monitoring and research instead. We also sent a letter directly to the South Korean president, along with an online petition from WWF activists.
After months of such international pressure, South Korea chose not to proceed with their proposal.