Whalers Kill Again
Reports from Australian media suggest that the Japanese whalers currently in the Southern Ocean have killed at least 5 of what are believed to be minke whales since protesters from Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd left the area. The protesters' boats had been tailing the Japanese harpoon and factory ships for the last three weeks in efforts to stop the boats harpooning and killing whales. Both have now had to return to Australia to refuel.
In addition to the whalers' ships, an Australian Customs vessel is in the Southern Ocean to gather evidence for potential legal action against the whalers.
As the season of slaughter continues, the Japanese coastguard has been stationed on the whaling vessels for what Japan says is necessary protection from anti-whaling protesters.
Despite an internationally agreed moratorium on whaling which came into effect in 1986, Japan, Norway and Iceland have exploited a loophole in the original convention on which the treaty was founded which allows countries to issue their own quotas for lethal research. Japan has killed over 20,000 whales under the guise of “scientific whaling” since the moratorium begun, despite these hunts being condemned through many resolutions passed at the International Whaling Commission.
“Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) allows countries to set their own quota for ‘scientific research’, but the original drafters of the treaty never intended for this provision to be exploited on the scale currently employed by Japanese whalers. Furthermore, advances in modern scientific techniques mean that there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for these kills on the basis of scientific research” said Philippa Brakes of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
Up to 950 minke whales, and 50 endangered fin whales are to be targeted by whalers in the Southern Ocean in a season slated to last until April.http://www.stopbloodywhaling.org