Is Japan right? Should the IWC ban on commercial whale hunting be lifted?

Pro- and anti-whaling nations are gearing up for a showdown.

On Monday the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will meet in Morocco to discuss and vote on lifting a ban on commercial whaling (which would reportedly include endangered species) for the first time in a quarter-century.

After the global ban was implemented, the number of whales killed each year plummeted from some 38,000 to a couple thousand. Not all countries have honored the ban. Countries such as Norway and Iceland have refused to comply. Japan has harvested whales for "scientific" research. Aboriginal hunting has been allowed for subsistence and cultural reasons.

Some say the meeting is an opportunity to fix a system that isn't working and find a way to get Japan to end its an annual hunt in the Antarctic. Yet Japan has been accused of bribing smaller IWC nations to secure votes to allow commercial whaling.

Japan says it has a tradition of whaling that goes back centuries and needs whales for food security. Marine experts point to the dwindling numbers of whales while those supporting the ban say whaling is immoral.

What do you think? Should the ban on commercial whale hunting be lifted?

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