Sunday, November 18, 2007

Japan's Whaling Outrage

Clearly the sushi market sets the 'scientific research' agenda in Japan.

Japan hunts 50 humpback whales for research

As if the stupidity of their phony 'scientific research' expeditions for whales, whale hunting by any other name, was not bad enough now Japan intends to hunt the endangered Humpback Whale.

In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville describes the Humpback Whale as "the most gamesome and light-hearted of all the whales, making more gay foam and white water than any other of them".

Guess Star Trek IV is not as popular in Japan as it is here. Or perhaps it lost something in the translation.

The Esperanza, Greenpeace's anti-whaling ship, could use the Enterprise's help now.

Because they won't get any help from the Canadian Government.

Send letters of protest to the Embassy of Japan in Canada
255 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 9E6
Tel: (613) 241-8541
Fax: (613) 241-7415

And copy your protest letter to your MP and the Party Leaders.

I am so outraged over this I have started a Facebook cause.

BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS: A Japanese whaling ship harpoons a whale off Antarctica, in this file picture.

A defiant Japan embarked on its largest whaling expedition in decades Sunday, targeting protected humpbacks for the first time since the 1960s despite international opposition. An anti-whaling protest boat awaited the fleet offshore.

The whalers plan to kill up to 50 humpbacks in what is believed to be the first large-scale hunt for the once nearly extinct species since a 1963 moratorium in the Southern Pacific put the giant marine mammals under international protection.

The mission also aims to take as many as 935 minke whales and up to 50 fin whales in what Japan's Fisheries Agency says is its largest-ever scientific whale hunt. The expedition lasts through April.

Japan says it needs to kill the animals in order to conduct research on their reproductive and feeding patterns.

While scientific whale hunts are allowed by the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, critics say Japan is simply using science as a cover for commercial whaling.

The Japanese hunt, which puts meat from the whales on the commercial market, is growing rapidly despite an increasingly vocal anti-whaling movement. This winter season's target of up to 1,035 whales is more than double the number the country hunted a decade ago.

The head of Japan's Fisheries Agency said Sunday the fruits of Tokyo's research would help prove that sustainable whaling is possible.

"The scientific research we carry out will pave the way to overturning the moratorium on commercial whaling, which will better help us to utilize whale resources," Shuji Yamada told the ceremony.

The focus on this year's hunt is the humpback, which was in serious danger of extinction just a few decades ago. They are now a favorite of whale-watchers for their playful antics at sea, where the beasts — which grow as large as 40 tons — throw themselves out of the water.

Humpbacks feed, mate and give birth near shore, making them easy prey for whalers, who by some estimates depleted the global population to just 1,200 before the 1963 moratorium. The southern moratorium was followed by a worldwide ban in 1966.

Since then, only Greenland and the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have been allowed to catch humpbacks under an IWC aboriginal subsistence program. Each caught one humpback last year, according to the commission.

The American Cetacean Society estimates the humpback population has recovered to about 30,000-40,000 — about a third of the number before modern whaling. The species is listed as "vulnerable" by the World Conservation Union.

Japanese fisheries officials insist the population has returned to a sustainable level and that taking 50 of them will have no impact

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
"George and Gracie," the humpback whales in Star Trek IV,
were Walt Conti's first animatronic creations back in 1986.

GreenPeace Follow the Great Whale Trail!

Today we launched the Great Whale Trail, following the migration of humpback whales from the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific, where they breed, to the icy Southern Ocean around Antarctica, where they feed. And we're doing it via satellite tracking and Google Maps. Nifty.

It's a collaboration between Greenpeace and scientists studying humpback whales in the South Pacific. We provided the financial support, while the humpbacks have been tagged by the Cook Islands Whale Research, and Opération Cétacés (New Caledonia). Why are we doing this? Well, it's simple, really: whales must not be allowed to die in the thousands for needless, discredited "research," - like that carried out by the Japanese whaling fleet. We're satellite tracking whales in the Southern Ocean to prove that non-lethal means can be used to do some real research!

The Great Whale Trail follows the migration of humpback whales from the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific, where they breed, to the icy Southern Ocean around Antarctica, where they feed. Click on the whale icon to see more information about the individual whales.

The whales are heading to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which should be a safe haven for them. Unfortunately, whaling still continues there.

Why the Japanese Fleet can't use this map to find and kill the humpbacks.

Greenpeace has a long history of defending the whales of the Southern Ocean by activists putting themselves between the whale and the harpoon. We would never let a whale be put in danger. The posting of the location of the whales on this website has been delayed to ensure the whaling fleet cannot locate them through the Great Whale Trail.

In addition, to justify their whaling as "science", the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) fleet is obliged to follow strict pre-determined search patterns or 'transects', when they hunt the whales. They claim this is to show that they are doing random population sampling. Any deviation for a single whale or large groups would automatically negate their so-called "scientific" programme.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Real live Humpback Whale and her calf courtesy Greenpeace.


Your Sunday Bible Reading: Moby Dick


Our Whales Are Missing

High Crimes On The High Sea's

Dolphins Say Scientist A Dim Wit

Whales Were Not Always Vegans

General Jackson Slaughters Luna

Canadian Anti-Whalers Attacked

Confrontation on the High Seas

Piracy on the High Seas

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Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

Dear Eugene,

Thanks for posting this blog entry! It's good to see other bloggers out there care about the whales.

You can start your own Whale Defender page at the Greenpeace web site and then ask your friends to donate. Or you could always donate to my page at the link below (and send your friends the link, if you want. I'd really, really appreciate it.) Either way, the money will go towards saving the whales:

-Capt. Jack Sparrow
P.S. Thanks again for working to inform folks about the whales' plight.

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