Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Have the Japanese ceased whaling?

Each year at around this time the team from The Sea Sheperd head into the Southern Ocean to commence battle. Their enemy, the Japanese whaling fleet.

The Sea Sheperd is an international non-profit organisation committed to preserving marine wild life. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) enacted a moratorium on all commercial whaling. Since then, three nations, Iceland, Norway, and Japan, have brutally slaughtered over 25,000 whales under the guise of scientific research and for commercial purposes. The IWC does not have the capacity to enforce the moratorium. Sea Shepherd, guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature, is the only organization whose mission is to enforce these international conservation regulations on the high seas.

The confrontations between The Sea Sheperd fleet and the Japanese has gained much media attention in the past years and even had it's only television series titled "Whale Wars" which has shown in many countries.

However it is now December 1st, at least on the Japanese and Australian side of the International Date Line, but the Japanese whaling fleet remains in port. The latest date the fleet has left in the past is November 19th. It seems they have definitely missed their usual start date to commence whaling which is usually December 20th. If the fleet left today they would not begin whaling until January, and this delay will certainly see no whales killed during the month of December.

Apparently one of the primary reasons for them not departing is that their supply ship the Hiyo Maru No.2 has been sold by its owner the Daito Trading Company to China to be scrapped. Since then the Institute for Cetacean Research, responsible for the whaling, has been unable to charter a replacement. Maybe they are finding it difficult to find a ship owner willing to be associated with their brutal and illegal whaling operation in the Southern Ocean, plus be willing to be targeted by the Sea Shepherd fleet.

The three Sea Shepherd Ships, Steve Irwin, Bob Barker, and Gojira are ready to head to the Southern Ocean – the only thing missing down there are the whalers

Has the time come when whales are free to grace the Southern Ocean without the fear of being harpooned by man

Let's hope so!

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