Japan Suspends Whale Killing!
The battle has been ongoing, Sea Shepherd versus Japanese whalers since 2005. Despite a worldwide moratorium on whale killing, the nations of Japan, Iceland, and Norway have continued the slaughter under the guise of “scientific research”. Now Japan has announced suspension of the winter whale hunt, which usually lasts until mid-March, and kills 800 to 1,000 whales. Sea Shepherd announced on February 17, 2011, “It’s official – the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over for this season and the whalers did not even take 10% of their quota. Sea Shepherd estimates that over 900 whales have been saved this year.” Japan has been disingenuous over the years saying the whales were harpooned, killed, and taken to Japan for “scientific research” yet the processed meat ends up in food retail outlets, restaurants, and on the market.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has proclaimed February 17, 2011 as “VSO Day” – Victory in the Southern Ocean Day for Whales. Sea Shepherd stated, “It’s official – the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations. In addition, “The Sea Shepherd ships Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira will remain in the Southern Ocean to escort the Japanese ships northward. “We will not leave the whale sanctuary until the last whaling ship has departed,” said Gojira captain Locky MacLean.”
Captain Paul Watson said, “This is a great victory for the whales, but we did not do this alone. Without the support of the people of Australia and New Zealand, we would not have been able to send voyages out for seven seasons from Australian and New Zealand ports. We are grateful to Senator Bob Brown and the Australian Greens Party. We are very grateful to Mr. Bob Barker for giving us the ship that turned the tide in our efforts to force the Japanese fleet from these waters. We are grateful to all our onshore staff and volunteers, supporting members and ship crews. We are grateful to the Chilean Navy and the government of France for their support. It is a very happy day for people everywhere who love whales and our oceans.”
Captain Paul Watson is well-known from the Animal Planet TV series, “Whale Wars”. He responded to the announcement of Japan’s suspension of whaling, “It’s a dying industry and has no place in the 21st century”. Even the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand have been calling on Japan to stop the whale hunting.
CNN “Japan Cancels Whaling Season Due to Group’s Obstruction, Official Says”Japan has canceled the rest of its winter whaling season, with a top official reasoning that environmentalists’ obstructive efforts made it dangerous for whalers to stay on the high seas. Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Michihiko Kano told reporters Friday that the country’s government halted whaling because of actions taken by the animal rights group, Sea Shepherd. He stressed that Japan did not want to do so, but felt its hand was forced.
About the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Sea Shephered’s Mission Statement: Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately-balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.