More: Rumours from Tokyo: Humpbacks to be spared the harpoon?
This is pretty incredible, and will be wonderful if it happens. Of course, saving the 50 humpbacks may be a red herring by the whalers; with everyone excited about the humpbacks - which are threatened and very iconic - it's easy to forget about the 50 less recognisable endangered fin whales and the 935 minke whales that the whaling fleet plans to kill over the next few months.
The bottom line is that Japan's Whaling operations are not for science but sushi.
See my Facebook campaign to oppose Japanese Whaling. I have also posted a link in the sidebar to the left.When the last remaining high seas commercial whaling company in Japan was dissolved in 1987, it gave its factory ship and catchers to a new company whose shareholders were all companies formerly involved in whaling. In the same year a non profit organisation called the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) was founded. The new company that now owned the whaling fleet donated nine million US dollars to the ICR. The ICR promptly chartered the whaling fleet from the new company and set off for the Antarctic using the factory ship, catchers and crew from the commercial hunt to catch whales in the name of science.
The Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) and the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) make more frequent defences of their research than usual - probably feeling the pressure. Here is an analysis of the failed research by our whales specialist John Frizell.By John Frizell
In 1987, the ban on commercial whaling came into force for Japan. Yet despite the ban the whaling fleet which had previously conducted the commercial hunt sailed at its usual time to the same whaling grounds in the Antarctic to take the same species of whale they had caught the year before and return them to Japan boxed in 15 kg cardboard cartons, ready for sale. This was made possible by ‘scientific’ whaling.
Here are some posts from fellow progressive bloggers on the outrage of Japans Whale Hunt.
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