Japan's“scientific” whaling in the North Pacific has been declared illegal by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and could result in trade sanctions unless Japanese whalers cease hunting endangered sei whales. Japan kills whales under the pretext of "scientific research." In reality, however, the majority of the whale meat is eaten by Japanese consumers.
Simply put, Japan is violating the CITES ban on international trade of sei whales by catching the whales beyond its territorial waters and bringing them back to Japan.
Sea Shepherd Legal's esteemed partner, Professor Erica Lyman from theInternational Environmental Law Project at Lewis and Clark Law School, stated: “There was no question about Japan’s non-compliance. With this decision, the CITES Standing Committee put the integrity of the convention above politics,”