Humane Society International secured a historic decision from the Australian Federal Court Tuesday which could save hundreds of whales from the Japanese harpoon.
The Federal Court has confirmed that the Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd. is in breach of Australian law when it kills hundreds of whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and has ordered that the hunt be stopped.
This is the first time the Japanese whalers have been taken to court and the court's decision confirms that the hunt is illegal. HSI Australia will serve the order that the hunt be stopped at the company's headquarters in Tokyo right away and we call on them to abandon the hunt immediately.
Join us in calling on the Rudd government to live up to their pre-election commitment to enforce the Federal Court injunction against the whalers immediately so that no more whales are killed in the Australian Whale Sanctuary this summer. Sign the petition to Prime Minister Rudd now!
The Navy's sonic assault on whales should be stopped immediately. I'm asking for your help to make it happen.
Let me be clear: I have the deepest respect for the U.S. Navy. When I was growing up, my father was a doctor and commander in the Navy. His role in helping to establish a base at the South Pole in 1957, as part of the International Geophysical Year, had a lifelong impact on me.
We loved the Navy because it helped win World War II. But we also loved the Navy because it was a leader in the scientific study of the natural world.
That's why I feel so strongly that today's Navy should be using its vast resources to protect not just our nation but the health of our planet’s oceans as well.
And it's why I am so distressed by the acoustic onslaught the Navy is now waging beneath our planet's oceans -- an onslaught known to kill whales with dangerous mid-frequency sound waves.
Mid-frequency sonar is designed to detect enemy submarines. The Navy's warships deploy underwater speakers that blast the ocean with noise in excess of 235 decibels -- a sonic barrage roughly comparable to a Saturn V rocket at blast-off.
That explosive level of noise can cause whales -- who have an exquisite sense of hearing -- to panic, surface too quickly, and hemorrhage internally. Many beached whales have been found bleeding around their brains and ears after their fatal encounters with military sonar.
Imagine a sound so disorienting or so painful that you jump out of the sea and die on the beach rather than be subjected to it for another minute! From a whale's point of view, the Navy's sonic assault must seem like torture.
But that torture isn't just cruel, it's unnecessary.
You see, the Navy could adopt simple safety measures when training with sonar that would prevent the needless infliction of pain and death on these magnificent animals. For example, the Navy could avoid marine habitats where whales are known to migrate, feed, and raise their young. These common-sense precautions would not compromise military readiness.
But the Navy refuses. So the maiming and killing of whales goes on.
This callousness toward nature -- toward the ocean itself -- does not reflect the Navy I grew up with. We deserve better. And, as Americans, it's our right to demand better.
Our message is simple: Whales should not have to die for military practice.
Please join me and millions of other people in getting that message to the U.S. Navy and to Congress. Click here now and tell the Navy to do the right thing.
Then please help us build a nationwide outcry by forwarding this message to your friends and family members who would want to know about the Navy's reckless assault on whales and other marine life.
Let's not wait for hundreds, or even thousands, more whales to suffer and die. Please stand with me in demanding a more humane Navy right now.
Please sign to help the whales and have your say by telling the Australian Prime Minister, Hon John Howard, that the Government should be protecting the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and that it is totally unacceptable for the PM to allow the Japanese whalers to illegally enter and slaughter whales in their supposed safe sanctuary in Australian waters.
Japan is resuming illegal commercial whaling of humpback, minke and fin whales from the Whale Sanctuary in these waters under the loose guise of 'scientific research.' The Japanese whaling fleet is preparing to leave its home port within a month for the Southern Ocean to commence their horrific and inhumane slaughter of these highly intelligent mammals. These whales are near the brink of extinction and it is unnecessary to kill 1 whale for scientific research purposes as successful non-lethal methods for whale research are in use today.In July 2000 The Australian Whale Sanctuary was created under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999, and includes the waters within Australia's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone adjacent to the Australian Antarctic Territory. Under the EPBC Act hunting whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary is a serious offence attracting heavy penalties. The Japanese whaling operation is in violation of many international laws and regulations, including: • Violating the Southern Ocean Sanctuary • violating the (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling. • Targeting endangered fin and humpback whales that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (CITE. • The Japanese whalers are also in violation of the Australian laws protecting the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
“every drop of rain that falls ends up in the mouths of whales – it is up to humans to control what substances enter that raindrop during its journey to the ocean”
Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ), is currently Australia's leading financier of environmentally destructive projects. ANZ is now considering funding a massive pulp mill project for Gunns Limited, the Australian logging giant that is rapidly destroying Tasmania's forests.
The new pulp mill will greatly accelerate the destruction of Tasmania's native forests while polluting the atmosphere and local marine environment.
IDA's demos in San Francisco, L.A., Seattle & Portland a success
This year's international Japan Dolphin Day, held last week on Wednesday, September 20th in cities around the world, was a rousing success. Dozens of groups organized demonstrations attended by thousands of people who are outraged and appalled that Japanese fishermen continue to kill about 20,000 marine mammals every year for meat. This annual atrocity -- the largest massacre of dolphins anywhere on the planet -- usually starts in October and continues through March, but this year the slaughter began early, supposedly to ensure that the fishermen were able to fulfill their government-sanctioned quota of kills.
As a coordinated effort, Japan Dolphin Day is an inspiring example of the difference that animal advocates and environmentalists can make when they work together towards a common goal. Richard O'Barry -- who founded the Dolphin Project (www.dolphinproject.org) in 1970 and is one of the world's most influential dolphin advocates -- praised the demonstrators for speaking out for marine mammals. O'Barry actually started his career in the 1960s capturing and training dolphins for the Miami Seaquarium. One of these dolphins was named Cathy, who for a long time played the role of Flipper in the famous TV series of that name. When she died in his arms, O'Barry understood that keeping dolphins in captivity is wrong, and he has spent the rest of his life fighting for their rights.
"Japan Dolphin Day was a success for the victim dolphins in Japan, and it was a public relations nightmare for the dolphin hunters and the Japanese government," O'Barry recently wrote to the demonstration organizers. "You sent a powerful message that was heard loud and clear in Tokyo. The message was: 'YES, There is international opposition to this secret, barbaric and anachronistic practice and you can't hide it anymore.'"
IDA proudly took part in Japan Dolphin Day by co-hosting a demonstration with Earth Island Institute (www.earthisland.org) at the Japanese consulate in San Francisco. Volunteers from both groups carried signs and handed out literature to passerby condemning the slaughter. IDA also held protests at the Japanese consulates in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.
What You Can Do:
Let Japanese officials know that international pressure will continue to mount as long as the dolphin massacre is allowed to go on. Demand a permanent end to the drive fisheries and the preservation of dolphins and whales as natural treasures.
Ryozo Kato Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. 2520 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 238-6700 Fax: (202) 328-2187
A big THANK YOU to everyone who sent messages to the St. John's River Water Management District (District), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Florida Governor Jeb Bush – your actions are helping us get some movement in the right direction! The District recently met and decided to delay the final vote on the proposal to tap into waters from Blue Spring to support increasing development and demands for water from surrounding counties.
The District has postponed their decision until October 10th in order to re-run their model using the most recent winter season manatee counts, which is expected to force them to revise the rule proposal. We have repeatedly told the District that their model is erroneous and underestimates manatee use, and this past winter season proved our point with substantially more manatees showing up to use the spring than their model predicted. For example, a minimum of 190 manatees were documented at Blue Spring during the 2005/2006 season, while the District model would not provide warm water for that many manatees until 2009. And the District’s current minimum flow proposal doesn’t require the Blue Spring flow to be restored to present levels until 2024!
As you know, Blue Spring is a critical warm water refuge for manatees in the winter. And manatees have gained an ally in Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the late explorer Jacques Cousteau, who was recently at Blue Spring creating a documentary for National Public Radio. In an Orlando Sentinel article, Philippe was quoted as saying, "This spring and these manatees represent a resource that should benefit all of the people of Florida, not just a few special interests."
The District has made the right decision to delay the final vote on the proposal. They have seen first hand that their model doesn’t work before the rule was even adopted. The District should set the minimum flow at no less than the current average annual flow level (157.7 cfs). We need to keep the heat on so manatees are not left out in the cold come October!
What You Can Do:
Both Florida and Non-Florida Residents: Please speak up to protect Blue Spring for manatees!
1. Attend the Public Hearing Please come to the public hearing on October 10, 2006 (see more information below) and state that you are OPPOSED to a proposal that allows any additional reduction in Blue Spring’s flow.
2. Send a Quick Online Letter and tell Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Chairman of the District Governing Board that you oppose the District’s proposal. Please click on the link below to get more background information and send a quick and easy online letter. If you prefer to send a personal letter or email, contact information is listed below.
Blue Spring Minimum Flow Public Hearing Regulatory Meeting of the Governing Board When: Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 1:00 p.m. Where: St. Johns River Water Management District 4049 Reid Street Palatka, FL 32177 Click here for more information and driving directions
3. Please forward this email to as many people as you can.
Thank you for your help on this important issue for manatees!
Governor Jeb Bush The Capitol 400 South Monroe Street Tallahassee, FL 32399 Fax: 850-487-0801 E-mail: email@example.com
Secretary Colleen Castille Florida Department of Environmental Protection 3900 Commonwealth Blvd, MS 10 Tallahassee, FL 32399 Fax: 850-245-2128 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
David G. Graham, Chairman SJRWMD Governing Board 4049 Reid Street Palatka, FL 32177 Fax: 386-329-4125 E-mail: email@example.com
I have some great news! I want to share with you an important victory in our efforts to close European markets for seal products, a vital step to end Canada’s commercial seal hunt.
The European Parliament has issued a Written Declaration calling for a ban on the import, export and sales of harp and hooded seal products. With your help, IFAW and other groups successfully lobbied more than half of all MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) to sign the resolution which will now be forwarded to the European commission and the Council of Ministers. I wanted to personally thank all of you who wrote to your MEPs over the last few weeks. Clearly your letters and emails made a difference.
A European ban will help reduce demand for seal products and send an important message to the Canadian Government that the European Union wants no part in this cruel hunt.
The import of whitecoat harp seal and blueback hooded seal furs and furskin products (taken from pups younger than 2-3 weeks) was banned in Europe in 1983, but sealers now wait a few days until harp seal pups have moulted their white fur to kill them, with 95% of the seals killed still under three months old. The products of these baby seals are still imported into the European Union.
The declaration states that the last time the annual number of seals now being killed were slaughtered in the 1950s and 1960s the seal population was reduced by two thirds. It also states that on average sealers receive less than 5% of their income from sealing which provides only a few days' work each year.
A number of EU countries (Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy) have already taken steps to ban the trade in seal products, and others (the UK and the Netherlands) are considering their own bans.
P.S. It’s critically important that we capitalize on this victory by adding new activists to fight for baby seals. This is a great opportunity to show others that we can win this fight with their help. Can I count on you to tell five new people about our efforts to end the seal hunt?
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