If they try to start whaling, the Esperanza's international crew
of activists will take non-violent direct action to prevent the
Japanese government's slaughter of nearly 1,000 whales, including
50 endangered fin whales.
Activists will drive inflatable boats between the whaler's
harpoons and the whales while using high-powered water pumps to
create a curtain of icy water, obscuring the harpooner's view.
We will do nothing to harm or endanger the Japanese vessels or
crew. We will, however, use all peaceful means at our disposal to
stop the killing of any more whales.
Update, January 14th: The Nisshin Maru and the catcher boat
Yusshin Maru are currently outside the hunting grounds. Without the factory ship whaling cannot continue. We suspect they will refuel soon
and offload whale meat that has already been
processed. The Esperanza continues to keep the Nisshin Maru in site.
The area in which the Japanese fleet are hunting has been
designated as the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, designed to help
whale populations recover after the devastating commercial whaling
of the last century. Many countries were responsible for this
collapse in whale populations. Most have since realized the tragic
consequences of their actions and now accept, support and promote
whale conservation and a complete end to commercial whaling.
Modern scientific research does not require whales to die. In
addition to confronting the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, we
are proving that nobody needs to fire exploding harpoons into
whales and kill them for science. Our
Great Whale Trail research program, in collaboration with
scientists from the Cook Islands Whale Research, Opération Cétacés
(New Caledonia) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare,
includes satellite tracking, skin biopsy, and photo identification
of whales. The program has already yielded
a vast amount of valuable information. But not a single harpoon
needed to be fired.
Scientific whaling is
an expensive hoax -- with most of the results being stockpiled
in commercial freezers or
ending up in dog food.
Karli Thomas, the expedition leader on
the Esperanza spoke to the crew on of the Nisshin Maru on the radio
Our vessel and crew are here in the Southern Ocean to
condemn your hunt, which includes endangered species, and to insist
that you return to port immediately.
We represent millions of people around the world who want to
see an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale
We join with the majority of people in Japan who do not
support whaling on the high seas. (...)
Your so-called scientific whaling is a hoax. It has been dismissed as useless by the
International Whaling Commission"
Japan's research whaling benefits only a very few Japanese
bureaucrats, and has cost Japanese taxpayers billions of yen in
subsidies. It produces research nobody needs, and whale meat very
few want. It deserves to be exposed in Japanese society as a
scandalous waste of money.
When the whaling fleet left its home port of Shimonoseki in
November, the government of Japan confirmed the sole purpose behind
its so-called science program is to bring about a return to
"The Japanese people clearly
do not support the whaling that is being carried out in their
name, and with their tax money", said Junichi Sato, whales
project leader for Greenpeace Japan. "It is time for Prime Minister
Fukuda to put an end to Japan's whaling scandal, and to recall the
fleet home to Japan."
Humpbacks safe -- for now
On December 22nd, the Japanese government backed down in the
face of pressure from Greenpeace supporters, whale advocates, and
conservation-minded governments, announcing that they would
not hunt humpbacks this season.
Rather than reducing the number of whales being killed in the
Southern Ocean it looks like the Government of Japan is going to
kill a lot more.
Plans are emerging for the construction of a new factory ship
that will be even bigger than the Nisshin Maru and be able to go on
killing thousands of whales over the decades to come. While our
activists will be between the harpoons and the whales in the
Southern Ocean in order to save hundreds of whales from being
killed now, we are urging people to stop even more being killed in
the future by writing to the Japanese Prime Minister. Over 12,000
letters have already been sent. We all need to act NOW to stop the
hunt forever and make sure that not a single harpoon will be fired
again in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
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