Prof. Cameron Jefferies co-authors article on Japanese whaling operations

Critiques Japan’s withdrawal from international conservation efforts

Sarah Kent - 22 December 2020

Associate Professor Cameron Jefferies of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law has co-authored an article that examines Japan’s withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission.

Co-authored with Robert C. Steenkamp of the University of Hamburg, the paper is titled “In Pursuit of the White Whale of Cooperation: The Ability of UNCLOS to Steer the Trajectory of (Future) Commercial Japanese Whaling Operations” and was published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ocean Law and Policy.

From the abstract: “On 26 December 2018, Japan announced that it would withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and indicated its intention to begin commercial whaling for the first time in 30 years. Despite the ethical and political outcry from several States, the legal ramifications of Japan’s withdrawal requires further analysis. This article examines the relationship between Japan and the IWC ex ante and ex post Japan’s withdrawal. Such an examination highlights the influence that Japan’s international duty to cooperate in the conservation and management of cetaceans might have across various international instruments. Japan is no longer bound by the recommendations and resolutions of the IWC; however, Japan remains a member of both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. With this in mind, the article examines the interaction between these three international instruments as well as the influence that such interaction might have on Japan’s international obligation to cooperate in the conservation of cetaceans.”