Which countries have continued to hunt whales?

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Which countries have continued to hunt whales?
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Japan has resumed its commercial hunting for whales after pulling out of an international agreement that lasted 30 years.

Currently, 88 countries are members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) - a body dedicated to the conservation of whales - and includes European nations such as Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

Japan was, until recently, also a member of the commission.

Commercial whaling was originally banned following an international provision that went into effect in 1986, although whaling continues today in several nations around the world.

Which countries are they?

Iceland

Iceland abandoned the IWC in 1991 because it no longer wanted to comply with the international ban on commercial whaling that was agreed in 1986, according to the Cetácea Conservation Center, a Chilean non-governmental organisation dedicated to the protection of aquatic mammals.

But the Nordic country has tried on several occasions to re-join as an active member of the IWC.

Its requests have so far been rejected as it has asked for an exception to be made on the hunting of cetaceans.

Norway

Although Norway is a member country of the IWC, it has not respected the agreement since 1993.

But the number of whales caught in the last two decades has been steadily decreasing overall, and has always been lower than the quota authorised by the government.

However in 2018, the government issued a license to catch up to 1,278 whales, nearly 300 more than the previous year.

Luis Suárez, a specialist in the World Wide Fund species program in Spain, told Euronews: "Going against an international agreement is serious for the preservation and life of our species."

Faroe Islands

In the Faroe Islands, around 100 whales die each year as part of a popular tradition.

As an autonomous territory under Denmark, the independent archipelago is not subject to Danish laws, or the laws of the European Union.

The IWC moratorium on commercial whaling also has no effect on this tradition since most of the meat is shared within the community instead of being sold.

United States (Alaska)

Unlike the aforementioned countries, Alaska allows whaling because it is a way of "survival" for the native population.

"For some, whaling is a way of growing, a diet, and the practice here is not for commercial purposes," emphasised Luis Suárez.

Japan

Japan has resumed its controversial commercial capture of cetaceans in its waters on Monday.

It is a practice that, officially, the Japanese did not undertake in the last three decades, but motivated its withdrawal from the IWC.

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