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Japan Aims To Slaughter Up To 935 Minke Whales

Japan Aims To Slaughter Up To 935 Minke Whales

Japan is once again heading south to hunt whales.

Last Friday, four whaling vessels left Japan bound for Antarctica on their annual hunt for the marine mammals. They plan to hunt up to 935 Antarctic minke whales and up to 50 fin whales through March.

From Rawstory:

Citing the Fisheries Agency, Kyodo News reported three vessels had departed from the far-western port of Shimonoseki, while environmental group Greenpeace said the mother ship had left another port also in the country’s west.

“The mother ship, Nisshin Maru, left Innoshima today,” said Greenpeace Japan’s executive director Junichi Sato.

“Today was virtually the last day when they could leave for the Antarctic Sea,” he said, adding that the fisheries agency had announced that the departure would take place within this month.

Last February, the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd declared a victory for whales when they forced Japan to cancel its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic. According to several reports, the 2011 whale hunt had been a huge failure, thanks to the harassing techniques of Sea Shepherd, with its trio of anti-whaling ships: the Bob Barker, the Steve Irwin, and the Gojira, the Japanese name for Godzilla.

Why Is Whale Hunting Still Going On?

The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, but Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt whales despite worldwide opposition.

Under a provision of the ban, Japan is permitted to kill around 1,000 whales in the Southern Ocean every year for “scientific research.”  Using this horrendous “scientific” exception, Japan over the years has killed thousands of whales for little to no good reason: as Sea Shepherd has pointed out, the whale meat is sold in Japan and served in restaurants.

The hope had been that last season’s suspension would mean the end of these factory ships of death which have trawled the oceans of the southern hemisphere for decades and illegally harvested critically endangered blue whales, beloved humpbacks, as well as the minke, fin and other whale species.

But the hunt is going forward. The Australian government was quick to react.

From CBS:

Australia’s environment minister Tony Burke has condemned the Japanese government for reportedly dispatching its whaling fleet for another expedition season in the Southern Ocean, describing Japan’s claims that its whaling program is for scientific research as “a joke.”

The Australian government has been a long-time critic of the activities of Japan’s whaling fleet in regional waters, and initiated legal proceedings against Japan’s whaling program in the International Court of Justice in May 2010.

Burke told reporters in Sydney on Saturday that he did not expect a response from the ICJ until “sometime next year,” but called on Japan to respect a moratorium on whaling in the Southern Ocean.

But Sea Shepherd is preparing to ensure that not a single whale is killed. Natalie Fox, a British woman who is a co-founder of the campaigning group Women for Whales, will be part of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Zero Tolerance. The group will be sending four ships to take on the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

May Sea Shepherd prevail.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Japan Forced To Suspend Whale Hunt In Antarctica

Japanese Ships To Kill 260 Whales In The Name Of “Science”

Victory! The U.S. Fights Icelandic Whaling

 

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Photo Credit: mikebaird

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258 comments

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11:01AM PDT on May 27, 2013

Hire the French Secret Police to sink the whaling fleet. They have the experience by sinking the Rainbow Warrior and killing a crew mwmber.

6:09AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

Simon T., I did read what they wrote, did you? Tell me how calling them "damnable Nips," is not racist? And, tell me how that helps whales in any way, shape or form?

I may have unfairly included you in the mix and for that I apologize, but, hey, you did wonder aloud about the whole elimination of China and Japan... and it took criticizing you for you to admit all the evil perpetrated by your own country against animals...

All that said, I laud you for your own efforts in being a royal pain in the butt in trying to change the world. If you want to know about everything I do, send me a note, I think you'll be suitably embarassed when you learn of the money and time I put in to back up my arrogance.

4:22AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Instead Shoot the Japanese, Norway and Iceland people who keep on killing whales and dolphins - we must ban doing business from these countries - stop buying the Japanese cars or products and stop doing or buying any Norway products... these people will not listen so we must act soon and request THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY OR LAW TO BAN JAPAN, NORWARY AND ICELAND - WE THE WORLD WILL NOT HELP TSUNAMI VICTIMS ANYMORE IF JAPAN DO NOT LISTEN. THIS IS THE REASON WHY I HATE THE JAPANESE, NORWAY AND THE ICELAND PEOPLE I HATE THEM SO MUCH.

4:17AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Even Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt whales despite worldwide opposition. We must also BAN NORWAY AND ICELAND FROM THE INTERNATIONAL HELP - WE ALL MUST STOP HELPING THESE COUNTRIES WHO DO NOT STOP HUNTING WHALES AND DOLPHINS - SO WE MUST BAN THESE COUNTRIES FROM ANY MEDIA OR HELP WE ALL MUST FORCE THEM TO STOP HUNTING...WHERE IS THE INTERNATIONAL COURT LAW TO PUNISH JAPAN, NORWAY AND ICELAND TO STOP HUNTING. DON'T THESE PEOPLE KNOW ITS ENDANGERED SPECIES AND WE MUST HELP PERSERVE TO SAVE LIFES NOT TO KILL THEM FOR MONEY... WHAT HELL IS JAPAN, NORWAY AND ICELAND PEOPLE DOING THESE PEOPLE ARE DAMIT CRAZY IDIOTS.. AND BUNCH OF INSANE PIGS..DO NOT HAVE EARS TO LISTEN TO THE CRY AND PAIN OF OTHER ANIMALS BEEN SHOOT.. COME LETS SHOOT THE JAPANESE, NORWAY AND ICELAND PEOPLE IN THEIR BUTTS..SEE IF IT HURTS AND LET THEM CRY AND DIE IN PAIN.

4:11AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

If, the JAPANESE DOES NOT LISTEN TO OUR CRY TO STOP KILLING ANY WHALES - SO IN FUTURE IF JAPAN IS IN NATURAL DISTRUCTION OR HAVOC WE THE WORLD WILL NOT SUPPORT JAPAN IN ALL COST. WE WILL STOP DONATION AND WE SHOULD BAN JAPAN FROM ANY INTERNATIONAL SEMINARS OR MEETINGS - EVEN STOP THE JAPANESE TO DO BUSINESS AROUND THE WORLD. STOP PURCHASING JAPANESE GOODS, STOP USING JAPAN AIRLINES - EVEN STOP EATING JAPANESE FOOD. WE BAN JAPAN FROM EVERYTHING - WE ALL IGNORE JAPANESE BECAUSE JAPANESE PEOPLES DOES NOT HAVE A KIND HEART AND VERY STUBORN WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANYBODY. SO EVERYBODY STOP HELPING JAPAN IF THERE IS ANY SUNAMI IN FUTURE ANY FLOODING OR EARTHQUAKE LET THE JAPANESE DIE A TERRIBLE DEAD - BECAUSE WHALES AND DOLPHINS ARE SMART AND SO THE JAPANESE ARE TURNING TO BE SO SELFISH, SO SHAMEFUL - JAPANESE PEOPLE ARE CRUEL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD - WE MUST BAN JAPANESE AROUND THE WORLD TILL JAPANESE WILL LISTEN TO US TO STOP HUNTING WHALES OR DOLPINS WE MUST BE STRONG AND SUPPORTIVE TO THE OCEAN ANIMALS AND PERSERVE THE LIFES OF WHALES AND DOLPHINS - SO JAPAN STOP HUNTING OR ELSE WE WILL STOP JAPAN FROM INTERNATIONAL MARKET BUSINESS OR RESTURANT ALL BAN GOING TO EATING JAPANESE FOOD. SO JAPAN WILL MAKE NO MONEY NO BUSINESS BECOME POOR AND THEN BEG FOR HELP ..FROM THE WORLD PEOPLE.

3:59AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

I am ready to shoot a harpoon into any whaling Japanese!!!!

12:16AM PST on Jan 27, 2013

what a shame asians behave this way,i really hope something bad smacks the human race they do not deserve the fantastic world we have been given.

1:40PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

I just don't understand this people, they are so careless, heartless and stupid, no other way to put it! another Asian Country that is so cruel to Animals. Another reason to hate their mentality towards animals

1:15PM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Appaling. I'm very disappointed in Japan. Is there anyway we can help??? Sign me up.

8:49AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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Judy Molland An award-winning writer and teacher, Judy Molland is also an avid hiker, backpacker, and nature... more
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