UPDATE 09/14/2018: The International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to reject Japan's proposal to lift the ban on commercial whaling, with 27 countries voting in favor of Japan’s proposal and 41 against. “What Japan tried to do here was to bend and break the rules of the IWC to lift an internationally-agreed ban on killing whales for profit,” Kitty Block, president of the Humane Society International (HSI), said in a statement. “It deserved to fail; the world has moved on from commercial whaling, and so must Japan. We hope that the IWC can now get on with the business of protecting these ocean leviathans from the myriad other threats they face.”
Each year, hundreds of whales are shot with harpoons, weapons that kill them slowly and painfully, in illegal hunts around the world. And now, whales could be in even greater danger — Japan, a nation that already kills hundreds of whales through illegal whaling operations, is trying to make it legal to hunt these gentle animals again.
If Japan is successful, thousands of additional whales could be killed every year, and several endangered whale species could be hunted to extinction.