As the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting kicks off in St. Kitts, our ship, the Arctic Sunrise has been refused entry to the island nation. The AS was was due to arrive two days ago, ahead of the meeting, which opens on Friday. No official reason has been given to the us, despite repeated requests.
The Arctic Sunrise, which was one of two ships that confronted the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean at the beginning of the year, was due to be part of our lobbying work at the meeting, - where control of the IWC could be seized by Japanese led pro-whaling countries.
"We are shocked that St Kitts has banned the Arctic Sunrise and can only assume that the government of Japan has convinced the St Kitts authorities to prevent us from entering in the hope that our criticism of whaling will be silenced," said campaigner John Bowle.
The St Kitts meeting of the IWC could see the reversal of many years of whale protection and conservation, with strong indications that the Japanese government will have bought out enough votes to take control of the Commission. In that event it is anticipated that we - Greenpeace - will be ejected from the meeting, after having had its observer status revoked, secret ballots will be introduced and the Japanese “scientific” whaling programme will be endorsed by the Commission.
St Kitts has a long history of voting with Japan at the IWC.
“The future of the whales hangs in the balance and this is yet another ominous sign that whales are for sale in St Kitts and criticism is to be silenced,” said John Bowler.
Read More: Caribbean nation St Kitts to host a disaster for whales »
The Times.co.uk: But who wants to eat minke burgers?:
Japanese whalers have been throwing away tons of their catches at sea because of a slump in consumption that has resulted in a vast whale meat surplus.
The revelation, presented yesterday by a Japanese researcher from analysis of official statistics, contradicts two of the central claims of Japan’s pro-whaling lobby: that Japanese people like eating whale, and that none of the carcasses of the slaughtered mammals goes to waste.
The Times.co.uk: More...
Fate of whales could be sealed by island's vote on hunting ban
In a ruthless realm of politics, prejudice and greed, Japan is turning to the Marshall Islands as it seeks to resume its quest for whale meat. It is not often that the Marshall Islands, a scattering of coral outcrops in the North Pacific, find themselves at the fulcrum of history. The last time was 60 years ago, when Bikini Atoll became the site of atomic bomb tests; since then the 60,000 Marshallese have lived in quiet obscurity. But tomorrow they will make a decision that will have implications across the world, and deep into its seas.