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As the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin sets sail for the Antarctic, Japan's resumption of its whale hunt in the Southern Ocean has been slammed by scientists attached to the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
In an open letter to the scientific journal Nature, 30 members of the 200-member scientific committee that advises the IWC have called for an urgent overhaul of the scientific process used by the commission to manage whale populations, describing the existing system as "a waste of time."
Although claiming they (Japan) have sincerely taken in account the view of the scientific committee and the view of the independent review panel, in actual fact they haven't changed anything substantial in their scientific proposal, said Andrew Brierley, a professor of marine biology at the University of St Andrews, one of the authors of the letter.
The IWC has said no new whaling permits would be issued before September 2016. That means that, at least officially, the Japanese fleet is operating in the Southern Ocean without an international permit to hunt for whales.
Don Rothwell, a Professor of International Law at the Australian National University says, "It was, I think, hoped that as a result of the judgement in the whaling case in 2014 that that might provide something of a breakthrough in terms of resolving the issues between countries like Japan who are pro-whaling and countries like Australia and New Zealand who are pro-conservation". . .
Is that All We get from the Australian Prime Minister... Disappointed?
Japan has asked to build submarines for the Australian Navy
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has said he is "very disappointed" by Japan's decision to resume Antarctic whaling as he began a brief visit to Tokyo, his first since becoming leader in September. Japan's whaling fleet set out for the Southern Ocean again earlier this month, with a target of 333 minke whales, a decision that has sparked a formal protest by 33 countries.
Japan's whaling is no longer a 'disappointment' or an 'emotional issue'. No longer are Japan's actions a 'difference of opinion' or about 'vested interests' or 'friendship', as has been said endlessly. Japan's actions are CRIMINAL since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2014 ruled Japan's slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean was NOT SCIENTIFIC and had to stop. In the Australian Federal Court the Humane Society International (HSI) with help from the Environmental Defender's Office fought and won a case against the Japanese company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha with evidence that on four occasions the whaling company caught minke whales within waters off Antarctica that are designated as a whale sanctuary by Australian environmental law. Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha was fined A$1,000,000
Chief Executive Michael Kennedy (HSI) says, "Japan always claimed it was doing its work legally. Well our court case in 2004 and the ICJ in 2014 proves that nothing they do in our view is at all legal."
The Australian Government has the 'Will of the people' and the 'Law', both domestic and International, on its side. It is time to act.
There can be no submarine contracts with Japan (there are other options) and the Japanese whalers must be turned back. Physically turned back... blockaded from entering Australia's Antarctic EEZ.
The Sea Shepherd Vessel Sam Simon must, no longer, be the only defender of whales in the Southern Ocean. The Australian Government must stand up and stop the whalers. They are poaches heading to a Whale Sanctuary to murder and butcher the animals the Sanctuary protects and Australia manages (AAT) on behalf of the world. In parts of Africa wildlife poaches are shot and killed. That is a horrid position for a Government to be in but the Japanese poaches in their Factory Ship, the Nisshin Maru, must be turned back to Japan without killing one whale.
The Australian people demand it... the World demands it.
Japan No Longer Recognises the International Court of Justice
Japanese Whaling ship in the Southern Ocean Whale Santuary
6 October 2015 - Motohide Yoshikawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations declared Japan will no longer recognise disputes, presented to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), brought against Japan in respect to it's harvesting of any or all living creatures of the sea. Calling every sea creature, that Japan wishes to exploit, "Living Resources" it continues it's war on whales and dolphins regardless of science and regardless of world opinion.
As Japan is now set to unilaterally resume Antarctic whaling in December 2015, after suspending the practice in 2014 it appears that Japan has taken some pre-emptive steps to ensure not only NEWREP-A success, but any future exploitation or over fishing of the sea by Japan, cannot be challenged before the International Court. . .
A minke whale is unloaded at a port in Kushiro in 2013. Photo: AP
Whaling ships left port in north-eastern Japan, early April, 2015 to embark on another government-backed 'scientific' whale killing
program in waters of the north-western Pacific and another new Antarctic whaling program is planned for later this year despite rulings from an
international court and an expert panel.
The four ships that left port in Japan could kill up to 51 minke whales in a few short weeks as part of this so-called 'research'
Although a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Japan has killed 13,000 whales since a ban was placed on Commercial
whaling in 1986 by exploiting a loophole allowing the killing of whales for 'Scientific Research' purposes.
In a landmark legal challenge, Australia initiated proceedings through the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging that
Japan was pursuing a large-scale program of whaling and was using science as a thinly veiled cover for commercial whaling in the Antarctic
waters. . .
FACT: Endangered Whale Species are RECOVERING... not RECOVERED.
FACT: Japan does NOT have a TRADITION of SCIENTIFIC WHALING.
Where is the Japanese Whaling Fleet?
What are whales telling us about Earth?
Recent reports clearly show that the whales are helping researchers determine atmospheric science, Arctic oceanography, the extent of
global warming, marine food web nutrition and record breaking migration patterns...
Taiji, Japan Dolphin Slaughter
Fishermen corral and slaughter dolphins
In the remote village of Taiji, Japan a team of activists and filmakers witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the
public: More than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold
as food in Japan, often times labeled as whale meat.
"The world today will either be stepping forward into an era where conservation and the environment really matter, or it will be stepping
back into the Dark Ages, where the people of the world think that the slaughter of whales using grenades, electric lances and shooting them with rifles
is something that we should accept."
Ian Campbell, Australian Environment Minister - 57th IWC AGM, Monday, June 20, 2005
"If all nations in the world took 1000 whales each year, the stocks would soon be exhausted. What gives one nation the right to a larger
portion of the resources of the planet that all nations hold in common?"
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, NZ Commissioner to the IWC.
World's Oceans once Teemed with Whales
The oceans once teemed with many more now endangered marine mammals than previously thought, new genetic studies of whales
Whalemeat samples bought from a Japanese sushi market and analysed by scientists indicate that experts have seriously underestimated the
size of the populations that roamed the seas before industrial- scale hunting began more than a century ago. The numbers of some species may have been 10
times greater than previously calculated.
The findings refute suggestions by whaling nations such as Japan that a resumption of hunting is justified by the increase of many whale
populations beyond their natural size, the researchers said. . .
Norway's Whaling Defies Logic
Norway maintained on Tuesday,1st April its quota of previous years to hunt up to 1,286 whales in its waters in 2014, despite whalers repeatedly catching less than the limit.
The announcement came the day after the whaling industry suffered a serious setback: the International Court of Justice ordered
Japan to end its annual Antarctic whale hunt of minke and fin whales, a larger species than the minke whale Norway catches.
In Norway, where whale meat used to be considered a poor man's dish, whalers struggle to reach the quota: in 2013, only 594 whales
were harpooned according to official data.
The hunting season goes from April 1 to September 30.
Norwegian whaling ship with a minke whale butchered on deck. Photo: WSPA/EIA
Whales killed annually since Norway resumed
Whales On The Net
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Updated 22 January, 2016 Whales in Danger Information Service
Created Oct 1, 1995
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