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Japan Forced To Suspend Whale Hunt In Antarctica

Japan Forced To Suspend Whale Hunt In Antarctica

Japan has temporarily suspended its annual Antarctic whale hunt because of an anti-whaling group following its ship.

Whale Hunt Halted Since February 10

The whale hunt has been suspended since Feb. 10 because of actions by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a U.S.-based environmental group.

From The Guardian:

Officials in Tokyo have conceded that this year’s mission, which had again been the target of international criticism, had not gone as well as hoped and the fleet may be called home early, according to reports.

Tatsuya Nakaoku, a fisheries agency official, said the decision was taken after the mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, was “harassed” by members of the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.

“Putting a priority on safety, the fleet has halted scientific whaling for now,” he said. “We are currently considering what to do next.”

Reports said the government was considering halting the expedition entirely well before its scheduled end in mid-March.

Sea Shepherd described this year’s campaign as its most successful yet. “I see victory on the horizon,” a spokesman for the group, Peter Hammarstedt, told ABC News in Australia.

Aiming To Kill 945 Whales Each Season

Japan’s fleet involves 180 people on four ships, with the goal of killing up to 945 whales in Antarctic waters during the southern winter season.

However, the Sea Shepherd’s vessel, the Bob Barker, located the fleet as soon as it arrived and has been pursuing the mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, as it heads towards the Antarctic peninsula below South America. The harpoon ships are unable to kill whales unless the mother ship is there to process them.

Commercial Whaling Banned In 1986

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.”

Sea Shepherd has rejected that argument, saying the whale meat is sold in Japan and served in restaurants.

Sea Shepherd regularly harasses Japanese whaling vessels to make their hunts more difficult and to cut down on the number of whales killed.

Kudos to Sea Shepherd!

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Photo Credit: mikebaird via Creative Commons

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9:13AM PST on Feb 24, 2013

I am all for hunting Japanese, for research I mean! We need to find out what makes them so stupid, selfish and heartless!!!

8:50AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:41PM PST on Jan 25, 2013

This is a 2011 article, so please be aware that Japan is in the Southern Ocean now--and so is the Sea Shepherd!

2:37PM PST on Jan 25, 2013

Of course, Sea Shepherd is doing the right thing! It is the only group out there in the Southern Ocean, risking their lives and liberty to stop this terrible, unjust slaughter. We love you Sea Shepherd!!

5:47AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Thanks for the force

5:52AM PST on Jan 2, 2013

boycott their goods. we have only our £'s $'s to punish them with as they lie and cheat the Laws.
BOYCOTT BOYCOTT and tell the retailers you are doing so.

10:37AM PST on Jan 1, 2013

The whalers should be in jail. Go Sea Shepherd !

6:34PM PDT on May 9, 2012

thank you sea sheperd and bob barker!!!!

3:14PM PDT on May 7, 2012

Keep Up The Great Work Sea Shepherds ! You Guys Our Light Of The Sea.

9:14AM PDT on May 7, 2012

Japan is using tsunami aid money to finance their whaling operations

I want my $50.00 returned!

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