Over the years, many organizations have campaigned against whaling he Humane Society, IFAW, WDC, EIA, NRDC, SSCS and Avaaz to name a few. In particular, WWF was a key partner with Greenpeace in achieving the global moratorium on commercial whaling. IFAW and WWF were also key partners in achieving the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Many individuals and political parties have also played crucial roles. Ex-politician and front man for rock band Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett, for example, was instrumental in initiating the International Court of Justice lawsuit. The court voted overwhelmingly that the size and scope of Japan's whaling program was not driven by scientific considerations. As a result, the Government of Japan officially cancelled plans to hunt whales in the Southern Ocean this coming year. This will be the first year since 1904, when whaling in the region began, that no whales will be hunted in Antarctic waters.
Greenpeace has been campaigning against whaling since the seventies and this court case reminds us of all the dramatic images in our archive that our photographers took over the decades from the beginnings in the Pacific Ocean to our direct actions in the Southern Ocean.
Greenpeace crew member Michael Baily blockades a Russian harpoon ship in a Zodiac during the first anti-whaling campaign 1976 in the Pacific Ocean. © Greenpeace / Rex Weyler
Greenpeace protest against factory ship Nisshin Maru in the Southern Ocean in 1992.© Greenpeace / Robin Culley
Greenpeace activist on ropes of Japanese whaling ship "Nisshin Maru". Greenpeace occupies the whaler in protest of the Japanese whaling policy in 1998. © Greenpeace / Martial Dosdane
Greenpeace action trying to prevent the transfer of caught whale from catcher ship to factory ship in the Southern Ocean in 1999.© Greenpeace / John Cunningham
Greenpeace inflatable hooks on to a Japanese whaling boat while it is pulling a caught whale on board 2000. © Greenpeace / John Cunningham
Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza and the MY Arctic Sunrise (in background) and their inflatables try to hinder the transfer of a dead minke whale from the Japanese whaling fleet catcher ship Kyo Maru No.1 to the Nisshin Maru factory ship in 2005. © Greenpeace / Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Greenpeace witnesses the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean by the Yushin Maru and the Kyo Maru No.1 ships of the Japanese whaling fleet, and the transfer of the whales to the Nisshin Maru factory ship in 2005. © Greenpeace / Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza and her inflatables , try to hinder the shooting and eventual transfer of a minke whale by the Yushin Maru No.2 catcher ship in 2005. © Greenpeace / Kate Davison
Whale secured alongside the Yushin Maru No.2 catcher ship from the Japanese whaling fleet in 2005. © Greenpeace / Kate Davison
Greenpeace documents and disrupts the continued whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 2006. © Greenpeace / Kate Davison
A Greenpeace inflatable boat tries to prevent the Japanese whaling fleet's factory ship, the Nisshin Maru from refueling from the supply vessel Oriental Bluebird in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 2008. © Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac
Humpback Whale. © Scott Portelli / Greenpeace