Japan To Resume Whaling Despite Legal Challenge

Japan’s whaling fleet will leave port today to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean as part of its new scientific program, NEWREP-A.

Under the new program, Japan will kill 333 minke whales each summer. This is down from 850 minke whales, 50 fin whales, and 50 humpback whales under the previous whaling program, JARPA II. Anti-whaling nations and non-government organizations have condemned the decision.

In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that JARPA II was not “for the purposes of scientific research” after Australia and New Zealand challenged Japan’s whaling program.

The decision was widely-lauded as the end of whaling in the Antarctic. However, since the decision Japan has revised its program and decided to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Japan’s new whaling program

Whaling is regulated under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Article VIII of the Whaling Convention allows for a country to issue permits to itself to undertake lethal scientific research.

The 2014 court judgment didn’t ban scientific whaling. It simply stated that the scientific whaling program, JARPA II, was not for the purposes of scientific research. This left open the option of a new scientific whaling program.

Following the decision, Japan announced a new scientific whaling proposal: “Proposed Research Plan for New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean” or NEWREP-A.

In February, an expert panel of the International Whaling Commission under the convention advised Japan that there was not enough detail in the proposal to justify the program. Japan has now responded that “it does not require any substantial changes to the contents of NEWREP-A”. It is on this platform that their whaling program will proceed.

The response to Japan’s action from those opposed to its program has been, and will remain, strong. Dr Nick Gales, Director —> Read More

Survey finds 90 percent overlook key to weight loss

On December 1, Orlando Health will release the results of a national survey about weight loss barriers, which finds 90 percent of respondents discounted one of the most important factors — your mind. Neuropsychologist Diane Robinson, PhD says the most crucial factor is your psychological relationship with food and exercise, yet the majority (60 percent) listed diet and exercise to be the biggest barriers of weight loss, and only 10 percent of people thought psychological well being was the biggest barrier to weight loss. —> Read More

Enceladus, the Jet-Powered Water World

The crescent of Saturn's moon Enceladus hangs above the planet's rings in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. Water jets that spew from the moon's south pole region are also visible. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The crescent of Saturn’s moon Enceladus hangs above the planet’s rings in this image from the Cassini spacecraft. Water jets that spew from the moon’s south pole region are also visible. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing pictures of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, with those captivating water jets and plumes at its South Pole. And this new images from the Cassini mission is just stunning – and intriguing. Carolyn Porco, the Cassini imaging team lead described the image on Twitter: “Be moved by crescent Enceladus with its ghostly geysers floating above Saturn’s glowing rings.”
Read the rest of Enceladus, the Jet-Powered Water World (330 words)

© nancy for Universe Today, 2015. |
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