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Philosophical-Legal Considerations for Ending Japanese Hunting of Small Cetaceans

By Emily Claire Sipes

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Japan persists as one of the few countries in the world partaking in the hunting of cetaceans, the branch of the animal kingdom that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. The International Whaling Commission’s 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling has established a majority international opinion about the ethics of hunting cetaceans. Japan, however, does not adhere to this global trend. I argue that Japan’s cetacean hunting policies are unjustified in light of customary international practice, and I attempt to show how Japanese policy can be informed by considering the intrinsic value of nature, in the form of both biocentric and ecocentric perspectives on environmental ethics. This is done by showing how existing frameworks of international law do account for the intrinsic value of cetaceans in both biocentric and ecocentric ways, and by demonstrating how Japanese practices are inconsistent with those of the global community. 


Katie Carroll

Date 2012
Publisher Lehigh Preserve
Department Earth and Environmental Science
Degree Master of Arts
Language English
University Lehigh University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals in culture
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Dolphins
  4. Ethics
  5. Fish
  6. Hunting
  7. Japan
  8. Laws and regulations
  9. Mammals
  10. Marine mammals
  11. Nature
  12. porpoise
  13. Whales