“Australian Environment Minister Melissa Price is quoted today in a News Ltd article saying that the Government has dumped plans to send a Customs vessel to document illegal whaling in the Antarctic. This backflip on previous policy means the Government has now abandoned the whales of the Southern Ocean to slaughter by Japan,” stated Sea Shepherd Australia spokesperson Adam Burling.
“Minister Price says that there is no point in sending a Customs vessel to the Antarctic. Sea Shepherd is proposing that a ship be sent again to document the notorious butchering of whales in protected areas. Filming of these atrocious activities in the past, either by Sea Shepherd or the previous Labor Government, has been an extremely effective way to put public pressure on Japan and to shine a bright spotlight on their bloody operations,” said Mr Burling.
“The Australian Government appears to be more concerned about trade with Japan than with whales. Minister Price has offered no solution to ending an activity outlawed by both the Australian Federal Court and the International Court of Justice. Diplomacy has failed to date, the Australian Government must look at all options now including taking Japan to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea,” said Mr Burling
“Sea Shepherd conducted 11 campaigns covering more than a decade in the Southern Ocean, saving the lives of over 6000 whales. Our 2017 images of a whale covered by a body bag on the deck of the slaughterhouse ship, the Nishin Maru, were the last photos taken of Japan’s Antarctic whaling programme. The release of these photos caused a global uproar. The Australian Government should not abandon sending a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean this summer, its presence would show that the world is watching and that the Government is committed to ending whaling forever,” concluded Mr Burling.
“If the issue is cost, perhaps Sea Shepherd can lend a hand,” said Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Paul Watson. “We can organize a public appeal to raise money for fuel and operating costs. I am confident that the Australian people would contribute to a direct appeal on behalf of the whales. Sea Shepherd can also supply volunteer crew to help undertake the mission. In any case, Sea Shepherd is willing to work with the Australian government to help protect the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters from poaching by the Japanese whaling fleet.”