Greenpeace dogged the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, shutting down the whalers for longer than ever before.
By keeping the whaling fleet's factory ship on the run in
January our non-violent protests were vital in frustrating the
Japanese Fisheries Agency's plans, as the whalers tried to avoid
public scrutiny by not killing whales in our presence.
Without the support of millions of people like you we could not
have sent our ship, the Esperanza, to the Southern Ocean, or
generated enough controversy to
cause Japan to call off their humpback hunt before it had even
There are only a couple of weeks left in the hunting season, and
by their own admission the owners of the whaling ships will not be
off-loading anything like the planned 1,000 whales worth of boxed
and frozen whale meat.
However, whale meat from the start of the hunt is due to arrive
back in Japan in the next few days - destined to sit in warehouse
stockpiles as potential whale meat buyers in Japan are themselves
becoming a vanishing species.
Back in January, as well as shutting down the whale operations
for longer than ever before, we peacefully disrupted the refueling
of the Japanese whaling fleet by the tanker Oriental Bluebird.
Following the refueling, huge amounts of whale meat were
transferred to the Oriental Bluebird for transit back to Japan.
The Oriental Bluebird doesn't have a permit as part of Japan's
research whaling fleet, and is flagged as a Panamanian vessel. Both
Panama and Japan have signed the international Convention on the
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prohibits commercial
trade in species named on its Appendix 1 list.
The minke whale is an Appendix 1 species, and while Japan has
filed for an exception to the regulations, Panama has not. The meat
now steaming towards Japan all boxed up and ready for sale has,
according to law, been exported to Panamanian territory -- and the
Greenpeace ship Esperanza has photos to document that. Any
offloading of the whale meat in Japan could constitute a violation
of the CITES convention.
Even if the whale meat is offloaded, we'll be ashore to voice
the opposition of whale defenders around the world. Greenpeace
Japan has been urging supermarkets and restaurants not to offer
whale meat. Three of the top five supermarkets chains have
responding positively. 'Watami', a famous pub chain, with over 600
restaurants all over Japan, has also confirmed that whale is off
Fewer and fewer people in Japan are eating whale meat, leading
to declining demand and an unsold stockpile of nearly 4,000 tonnes
of whale meat. In a desperate attempt by the bureaucrats of the
Japanese Fisheries Agency to reverse the trend and create
artificial support for their unpopular product, the whale meat has
been subsidised, pushed into school lunches and even used as dog
food. A company charged with marketing the meat has for two years
running failed to turn a profit, and the whalers this year had to
reorganise payment of an interest-free government loan, as they've
been unable to meet their sales targets.
Commercial whaling has no future -- whether it's disguised as
scientific research or not. In Norway, the number one buyer of
announced that they're getting out of the whale meat business.
In Iceland, the Minister of Fisheries
announced last year that no quota was being set because there
was no market for the whale meat.
With steady pressure, we can ensure that whaling is consigned to
the history books forever, and that in future whales are shot by
the cameras of whale watchers, rather than the harpoons of
Canon is famous for supporting wildlife initiatives dedicated to protecting endangered species. So why won't they condemn the killing of whales for unnecessary research?
To maintain our independence, Greenpeace doesn't accept corporate donations. That gives us the freedom to bite the hand of any government or business. It also makes us entirely dependent on people like you to keep us going. Please help.