Sea Shepherd is anti-whaling - not anti-Japanese

Jeff Hansen, Managing Director Sea Shepherd Australia.

Background

Minke whale from Operation Zero ToleranceMinke whale from Operation Zero ToleranceThis bill lays down the necessary matters to carry out scientific research whaling in a stable and continuous way, in order to carry out commercial whaling," it reads. Japan considers whaling to be a cultural right and conducts annual hunts in the Southern and Pacific oceans — under a loophole in International Whaling Commission rules which allows for scientific whaling. Changing domestic law in Japan would not have any impact on the International Whaling Commission, which prohibits commercial whaling. The bill seeks to enshrine funding for research whaling into the national budget as well as adding additional resources for defending Japanese whalers from protest groups like Sea Shepherd.

Sea Shepherd’s response

In Sea Shepherd’s 11 Antarctic whale defence campaigns, we have saved the lives of over 6,000 whales defending the southern ocean whale sanctuary from illegal whaling. Many of our campaigns have had Japanese crew and support from within Japan, showing that the actions of the Japanese government do not represent the wishes of all the people of Japan, this is further highlighted by fact that thousands of tons of whale meat is stockpiled, due to the lack of appetite.

Sea Shepherd is not anti-Japan, we are opposed to all whaling globally by any nation, as our past campaigns show, in opposition against whaling by Iceland, Norway and Denmark for instance. To further highlight this, if the governments of Australia and New Zealand were planning on killing whales in the established southern ocean whale sanctuary, Sea Shepherd would also oppose this.

Whaling is a cruel and bloody business, what’s more, due to whales flocculent plumes, that provide nutrients for phytoplankton, whales play a critical role in fighting climate change. The more whales in our oceans, the greater our chances globally in fighting against climate change. Japan is a signatory of the Paris climate agreement, and expressed their disappointment by President Trump's decision to quit the Paris agreement, however the Japanese governments continued passion for killing whales goes completely against the Paris agreement and hypocritical to attack President Trump, when they continue to chase down and kill whales, which play a critical role in fighting climate change.

The people of Japan should be asking their governments, why are their hard earned tax payer dollars being used to subsidise a dying industry, one where there is no market for the end product. Since 11 march 2011, after the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster, hundreds of tons of radioactive water every day has been dumped into the Pacific Ocean, which is having a catastrophic impact on our oceans and all humanity, surely there are better things the Japanese government can spend their people’s money on rather than a dead, cruel and ecologically destructive industry such as whaling.

Dead Minke Whales on Nisshin Maru Deck. Photo: Tim WattersDead Minke Whales on Nisshin Maru Deck. Photo: Tim Watters

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