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Stop U.S. Brokered Deal Allowing Japan to Hunt Whales

Stop U.S. Brokered Deal Allowing Japan to Hunt Whales

On Feb. 2, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) released a proposal for allowing Japan to commercially whale off their coast. This would be the first time that Japan would be able to legally hunt whales for meat since the international moratorium on whaling went into effect in 1986. And it’s bad news for whales.

What’s particularly disappointing to me as an American is that the U.S. representative is leading the charge to allow Japan to open up whaling. William Hogarth is the Bush-appointed U.S. commissioner to the IWC, and he was the one who worked out the details of the proposal (available in a PDF here).

Essentially, the proposal would allow Japan to do “coastal whaling” of minke whales in the Sea of Japan–a population whose stock is already depleted–in exchange for a ramp-down in the number of Antarctic minke whales Japan hunts under a “scientific” exception to the moratorium. Whale lovers have long been upset that meat from these whales killed under the auspices of “science” ends up in stores across Japan, raising questions about whether research is actually being done.

Indeed, Japan killed 872 whales in 2007 under this “scientific” exception, versus 540 in 1997. And that number doesn’t include the 156 minkes killed as “bycatch.” Allowing Japan to kill more whales in different areas while slowing down the “scientific” catches simply legalizes the slaughter of more whales–setting back the work conservationists have been doing for years.

President Obama has the power to stop this plan. From a Washington Post report:

Hogarth said he is well aware that he could be replaced before the pact is finalized or be instructed to kill the deal. Obama could “decide he doesn’t want me, and I respect that,” he said. “I will make sure they are on board with the process we’re doing.”

Let’s make sure Obama knows we are not on board with the process they’re doing! Join me in signing a petition calling on President Obama to stop Hogarth’s plan to allow the slaughter of more whales.

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7 comments

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12:00PM PST on Mar 4, 2009

You all need to direct your anger and energy towards Japan!!!

10:41AM PST on Feb 15, 2009

The only way one condones such senseless behaviour is when they are out of touch with honourable stewardship of this planet and her creatures. Where is the logic in actions of the slaughtering of a species today in order to diminish the killing of a (by then) non existing one later? Whales are not like massive schools of “fish”; perhaps the International Whaling Commissioner should be someone who actually is on the whales’ side? Otherwise it is just another political Oxymoron…

12:37PM PST on Feb 6, 2009

This is truly appalling news and I hope that President Obama nullifies this terrible agreement. Veronica. Cape Town, South Africa.

9:09PM PST on Feb 5, 2009

I mean that they NOT kill any more whales. Sorry.

9:08PM PST on Feb 5, 2009

We need to insist that Japan kills anymore whales ever, & stop their killing of sharks too. Humans are so insane they'll do things until they destroy the earth completely, so they have to be controlled & changed. All humans need to change.

9:06PM PST on Feb 5, 2009

We need to insist that Japan kills anymore whales ever, & stop their killing of sharks too. Humans are so insane they'll do things until they destroy the earth completely, so they have to be controlled & changed. All humans need to change.

7:32PM PST on Feb 5, 2009

It is time for CHANGE in the way we deal with Japan on the issue of whaling. With all the world's whale populations on the decline and the ongoing assault on the world's oceans, we must act to stop whaling now and insist that all other countries do the same.

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