Great news. South Korea has dropped its controversial plans to resume ‘scientific’ whaling – after worldwide condemnation and petitioning – saying that it now intends to carry out ‘non-lethal’ research instead.
Back in July the Seoul government announced that it intended to resume whaling, using a loophole in the worldwide ban on commercial whaling that allows whales to be killed for ‘scientific research’.
South Korea claimed there had been a significant increase in whale numbers in their waters - but their plans could have affected an endangared population of minke whales.
More than 105,000 people, including WWF supporters, signed an e-petition to the Korean prime minister Kim Hwang-Sik, objecting to the plans.
Korea’s official proposal to restart whaling was due to be submitted to the International Whaling Commission before 3 December. But the deadline passed, and Korea’s fisheries ministry has confirmed it has ditched the plans - saying they’ve decided to carry out 'no-kill' scientific research instead.
Japan still uses the ‘scientific research’ loophole now rejected by South Korea, and whale meat is still sold openly in shops and restaurants in Japan.