July 6, 2010

Greenpeace today launched an anti-whaling advertising campaign featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins. The ads will begin airing Wednesday on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN Headline News in Washington, D.C. through Friday, to coincide with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to meet with President Bush in Washington. The environmental group is raising awareness about the ongoing senseless Japanese hunt of whales before the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting takes place in May in Anchorage.

“The U.S. government is chairing this year’s IWC meeting on U.S.
soil.  This provides an unprecedented opportunity for the U.S. to
stand up and work to bring an end to commercial whaling in the
Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” said Karen Sack, whales project
leader with Greenpeace USA.  “While Prime Minister Abe is here in
Washington, leaders with whom he is meeting and the public need to
know that they can join us in defending the whales and telling
Japan that commercial whaling has no place in the 21st

The Japanese government continues to hunt whales in an
internationally agreed whale sanctuary under the guise of
‘scientific research.’ This year, they aimed to kill almost 1000
whales.  Greenpeace sent its ship Esperanza to the Southern Ocean
Whale Sanctuary in January to confront the whalers, but this was
preempted by a deadly fire onboard the Japanese whaling fleet’s
whale processing ship which threatened the pristine Antarctic
environment and cut short the whaling season. Japan’s total take of
whales from the Southern Ocean in 2006 was 505 minke whales and 3
endangered fin whales.  Next year, they intend to add endangered
humpback whales to their target list.

The IWC is the international body established in 1946 to
regulate whaling.  In 1982, the countries that are members of the
IWC agreed to establish an indefinite moratorium on commercial
whaling.  The 2007 annual meeting of the IWC will take place on
U.S. soil for the first time in 18 years and is being chaired by
the U.S.  The United States was key in championing the
establishment of the whaling moratorium in the 1980s and must again
show the world its commitment to protecting whales.

“Recent polling shows that 78 percent of the U.S. public oppose
commercial whaling, and 69 percent of the Japanese public do not
support their government’s annual hunt,” added Sack.  “President
Bush and Prime Minister Abe must work together to represent the
interests of their citizens and stop this pointless hunt once and
for all,” she concluded.

The ads, shot in February, feature Sir Anthony Hopkins.  They
were shot on super high-definition Dalsa cameras, and can be viewed

For copies of the ad, please e-mail
[email protected]

VVPR info: CONTACT: Jane Kochersperger, (202) 319-2493; Karen Sack, (202) 415-5403

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