Japanese whalers set to harvest 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales

Japan plans to harvest up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales this season. Under International Whaling Commission rules, the mammals may be killed for research but not for commercial purposes. Opponents say the Japanese research expeditions are simply a cover for commercial whaling, which was banned in 1986.water-canon

The Japanese whaling fleet reportedly plans to kill some 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean this season, working under a regulation in IWC agreements that allows lethal research.

Opponents of the research claim Japan uses the IWC provision to mask what amounts to commercial whaling.

But the Japanese side disagrees and says lethal methods are needed to determine whale life cycles and migration patterns, make accurate estimates of the state of whale populations in the Southern Ocean and gather other scientific data.

The protesters set off from Australia in early December for the remote and icy Antarctic Ocean, chasing the whaling fleet for about 2,000 miles before stopping two weeks ago in Tasmania to refuel. The group found the whalers again on Sunday and resumed their pursuit.

Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean were no different than elephant poaching in Africa, saying the world would be outraged if the Japanese were “black and poor.”

“What Japan is doing is shameful and illegal,” Watson claimed.

According to Sea Shepherd master Capt. Paul Watson, the whalers used seven harpoons to kill a single whale Thursday.

“This is a barbaric act, imagine using seven spears to kill an elephant in the Serengeti,” Capt. Paul Watson said.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sea Shepherd’s ship, the M/Y Steve Irwin collides with the stern of Japanese harpoon whaling ship, the Yushin Maru No. 2 while factory ship the Nisshin Maru, processes a newly caught minke whale in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Sea, early Friday, February 6, 2009. Sea Shepherd claimed that the harpoon vessel moved in to block the Steve Irwin’s attempt to prevent the transfer of a dead whale up the slipway of the processing ship.

Both sides need to work out their differences at the International Whaling Commission.


Sea Shepherd’s ship, the M/Y Steve Irwin, collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Ross Sea off Antarctica on Friday.-Nisshin Maru. 2/5/09
Adam Lau / AP Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, February 6, 2009.

Protest Ship Collides With Japanese Whaling Ship
February 06, 2009. http://www.msnbc.msn.com

3.Excerpts from American Chronicle http://www.americanchronicle.com

Video courtesy of BBC Activist ship and whalers collide news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific

Images Ships collide in Antarctic whaling clash – KRISTEN GELINEAU

IWC (International Whaling Commission) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7478862.stm

1 Comment

  1. April 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    […] on their annual hunt. In addition to hundreds of Minke whales, the ships slaughter a few dozen endangered Fin whales every year, which inevitably end up in cans on store […]

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