Greenpeace offers to help Japan conduct non-lethal whale research

Press release - 12 January, 2006
Greenpeace today offered to assist the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), which controls the whaling fleet, in its non-lethal research programme in return for an end to the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

In a press release issued today, the ICR made the extraordinarystatement that "an analysis of the statistics shows that the time of deathincreases drastically when Greenpeace gets between the harpoon and thewhale."

"The ICR continues to peddle one lie after another in its desperate bidto defend the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.From the bogus notion that the hunt is for scientific purposed and hasthe support of the International Whaling Commission(1), through claimsthat Greenpeace rammed their massive Nisshin Maru factory ship and nowto finally trying to blame Greenpeace for the suffering ofwhales,"  said Shane Rattenbury Greenpeace Expedition Leaderonboard the Arctic Sunrise. "The reality isthat the only way to end the brutal killing of whales in the Southern OceanWhale Sanctuary is to stop firing grenade tipped harpoons into them."

As soon as a whale is hit by a harpoon Greenpeace activists immediatelyback off to allow the kill to be finished, they then try to hamper thetransferof the dead whale from the catcher to the Nisshin Maru, where after beingweighed and measured the whales are chopped and boxed for market.

Today, from its helicopter, Greenpeace captured on video the slow andagonising death of a minke whale, there were no Greenpeace activistsblocking the line of sight of the harpoon, demonstrating that the prolongedsuffering of whales is a routine part of the so-called scientific hunt.(2)

The ICR further accused Greenpeace of hampering the non-lethal elementof their hunt in the Whale Sanctuary. "Frankly, when a ship with anarmoury of grenade tipped harpoons bears down on a whale, Greenpeaceprefers to give the whale the benefit of the doubt by acting to defendit from possible attack than assume the so-called scientist is going tofire a biopsy dart for a change," said Rattenbury.

Greenpeace would be happy to put its inflatables and vessels at the disposalof the whaling fleet to assist in the non-lethal research programme inreturn for a promise that no more whales will be killed in the SouthernOcean Whale Sanctuary.

For more information on the campaign to defend the whales go

Other contacts: Shane Rattenbury, Greenpeace Southern Ocean Expedition Leader, on board the Arctic Sunrise, + 873324453810 Yuko Hirono of Greenpeace Japan, on board the Esperanza, +873324469010 Mike Townsley, Greenpeace International Communications, +31621296918

VVPR info: Video available from Greenpeace International Video Desk +31653504721Photos available from Greenpeace International Photo Desk +31653819121 or +31653819255

Notes: The campaign to defend the whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is the first stage in an ambitious new Greenpeace campaign 'Defending our Oceans'. Over the next year the Esperanza will be Greenpeace's main platform in arguing for a network of marine reserves or parks covering 40% of the world's oceans: places that will be protected from industrial exploitation and destruction, from industrial fishing and hunting, and places from which our oceans can begin the process of repair and recovery.Seventy crew and campaigners from 19 countries are on board the two Greenpeace vessels: UK, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Ghana, Russia, Norway, Denmark, USA, France, Italy, Japan, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Austria and Argentina.

Exp. contact date: 2006-02-12 00:00:00