Greenpeace activists hold a banner with an question mark beside the Nisshin Maru 'Research' factory ship, demonstrating the fake nature of the whaling operation. Greenpeace is using every peaceful available means to bring the hunt to an early end and make it the last time the Sanctuary is breached by the whalers.
Japan's annual Southern Ocean whale hunt is conducted under the
guise of science but has been condemned internationally. This
season, Japan aims to kill more than 1,000 whales, including 50
endangered fin whales and, for the first time in 20 years, 50
threatened humpback whales will also be harpooned.
The International Whaling Commission has called for an end to
the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary under
Japan's whaling programme.
Our ship the Esperanza is currently positioned just outside
Japanese territorial waters and will be following the Japanese
whaling fleet after it leaves the port of Shimonseki for its
passage towards the Antarctic.
"The Japanese government's 'scientific' whaling programme is a
sham and a source of diplomatic tension between Japan and countries
that support whale conservation, like the United States. Whaling
has no place in Antarctica - it's a place of peace and science, and
this is not science," said Karli Thomas, expedition leader aboard
An opinion poll carried out in Japan by the Nippon Research
Centre, in June 2006, showed that 95 per cent of Japanese people
never or rarely eat whale meat. More than two-thirds of Japanese do
not support whaling on the high seas.
study recently conducted by Julia Bowett, a PhD student from
the University of Tasmania, found that among Japanese students
approximately 65 percent agreed with the view that scientific
research on whales should only use non-lethal methods.
To prove that you don't need to kill whales for research,
Greenpeace is collaborating with a team of scientists on the '
Great Whale Trail' project.
Data from satellite tagging of whales, harmless skin biopsies
and fluke identification has already yielded valuable information
about the migration patterns of threatened humpback populations,
without a single harpoon being fired.
display the location of the whaling fleet as it is tracked
south by the Esperanza on the same map on which it is tracking
humpback migration routes from their breeding grounds in New
Caledonia and the Cook Islands.
"Japan's whalers are deceiving the Japanese public by painting
the word 'research' on their ships," said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace
Japan Whales Project leader. "Real scientists don't need to kill
whales to study them. This is commercial whaling poorly dressed up
"The Japanese Government should already know that information
about whales can be gained without killing them. The Antarctic
whale hunt is an expensive waste of Japanese taxpayers' money and
goes against public opinion in Japan and overseas. The time has
come for the Japanese government to end this hunt."
Japan has close to 4,000 tons of whale meat from its
'scientific' whaling programme in cold storage - uneaten, unsold,
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