By Reissa Su
30 July 2014
(International Business Times) – Japan has wrapped up its whaling campaign in the Pacific with 115 whales caught and killed in its two-and-a-half month operation. It is the second whaling hunt of Japan since the United Nations' international court had ordered Japan to stop catching and killing whales in the Antarctic.
According to Japan's fisheries agency, 90 Sei whales and 25 Bryde whales were captured and killed. The number of whales caught met the pre-hunting target of the whalers.
The fisheries agency reported the whaling operation was not disrupted by anti-whaling activists like Sea Shepherd Australia, which the whalers had clashed repeatedly in the past. Agency officials confirmed that the whalers did not encounter an obstacle during their Pacific hunt.
The recent whaling operation was the second attempt since the UN's International Court of Justice ruled in March that Japan's annual whaling in the Southern Ocean was for commercial purposes and disguised only as "scientific research."
Supporters of Japanese whalers have accused Western critics and conservationists of cultural imperialism for trying to stop a tradition dating back to hundreds of years.
However, statistical reports reveal that whale consumption in Japan had declined in the recent years. This led to large quantities of whale meat in storage. Conservationists, like Australia's Sea Shepherd, believe the whales were being killed for no reason.
Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson said Japanese whalers are becoming "desperate" because they know whaling is a "dying tradition." He added whalers are trying to promote the practice to the younger generation. [more]
By Captain Paul Watson
30 July 2014
(Facebook) – Japan has blatantly violated the ruling of the International Court of Justice by killing whales in the North Pacific using their discredited scientific justification as an excuse.
Japan is claiming now that this is a tradition yet there is no tradition in Japan of pelagic whaling and certainly not in the Southern Ocean.
The Japanese say they will not kill any whales in the Southern Ocean for the 2014/2015 season but they will be sending four harpoon boats down and quite possibly they will be sending the factory ship Nisshin Maru.
Sea Shepherd Australia will be sending the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon to intervene against illegal Antarctic tooth fish poaching and they will monitor the so called non-lethal "research" the Japanese say they will be doing with the four harpoon vessels. The Steve Irwin will be on stand-by in the event Japan decides to switch to lethal research.
Sea Shepherd USA and myself will not be able to participate in the Southern Ocean campaign if Japan resumes whaling. The U.S. Courts have granted the Institute for Cetacean Research a continuation of their temporary injunction despite the fact that the ICJ has ruled Japanese whaling illegal. Apparently the verdict of the world's highest court is not only being ignored by the Japanese government but also by the U.S. Federal Courts. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that Japanese whaling is legal but that was before the ICJ verdict. They have not delivered an opinion on the legality of Japanese whaling since the ICJ ruling.
Fortunately, Sea Shepherd Australia does not need the involvement of Sea Shepherd USA or myself in order to intervene against the unlawful whaling operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.
Japan has made it clear they intend to return to lethal whaling for the 2015/2016 season. If so, Sea Shepherd Australia will return to uphold the verdict of the ICJ against the eco-terrorist criminal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.