The Japanese government whaling fleet has departed its home port of Shimonoseki, for its biggest hunt since the moratorium on commercial whaling came into being over twenty years ago.
Ships from the Japanese whaling fleet head south with the intention to kill and "process" more than 1000 whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The fleet intends to kill more than 1,000 whales while in the
Southern Ocean, including 50 endangered fin whales, 50 threatened
humpback whales and 935 minke whales.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is standing by off the coast of
Japan. You can read the crew blog here or
check out the
Despite claims that the Japanese are conducting a "research
project," the whale hunt isn't science. The International Whaling
Commission has said the data the whalers gather isn't helpful, and
everything the Japanese will learn by harpooning the whales could
be learned by non-lethal means.
The hunt for whales is in fact stealing money from Japanese
taxpayers, and robbing other countries of much-needed tourist
income. The threatened humpbacks targeted by the whalers are part
of thriving whale watching industries elsewhere.
"The whaling fleet must be recalled now. If it is not, we will
take direct, non-violent action to stop the hunt," said expedition
leader Karli Thomas aboard the ship.
Humpbacks don't need to die for science. We're collaborating
with Pacific-based scientists through the Great Whale
Trail project, demonstrating that whale research can be done
effectively and non-lethally. The Great Whale Trail has been
monitoring the location of tagged humpback whales as they migrate
to the Southern Ocean from the Pacific.
The Great Whale Trail website will also track the Japanese
whaling fleet as it heads south.
Sign up for whale mail
Keep up to date with the expedition as we head south to challenge the whaling fleet.
Help fundraise for the whales
Set up your own whale defender page and help raise funds to save the whales.