Despite a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, Japan has been killing whales in the Southern Ocean in the name of “scientific research” since 1987. In 2008, the Federal Court of Australia deemed Japan’s whaling illegal, yet, their whaling fleet headed south that year without any prosecution from the Australian Government.
In 2014, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand took the Government of Japan to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Netherlands where their Southern Ocean whale hunt was deemed illegal. Again, the Japanese Government continued its operations, creating a redesigned program and self-imposed quota to kill 333 protected Minke whales each year.
In December 2018, the Japanese Government announced their retreat out of the Southern Ocean, bringing their infamous whaling program in Antarctica to an end at long-last.