International law does not provide an adequate enforcement mechanism against illegal whaling. The Japanese government claims that its whaling practice falls within the scientific research exception of an international moratorium on commercial whaling. Despite an International Court of Justice ruling finding that its practice does not fall within this exception, Japan has continued to kill thousands of whales each year with no effective opposition. The area in which this whaling occurs, however, falls outside the jurisdiction of any nation. Although the United Nations Security Council has the authority to act, the delicate nature of international diplomacy effectively ties its members’ hands on this matter. To fill this void, the International Whaling Commission should amend the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling to include a provision allowing for enforcement of the moratorium by approved non-governmental organizations. Should this amendment pass, the needless slaughter of thousands of whales each year could be prevented.
Call Me Ishimaru: Independent Enforcement of International Agreements,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.