Japan persists in hunting whales despite the International Whaling Commission having found their claims of “scientific research” to be blatant lies. But now they are facing Sea Shepherd’s new faster interceptors that can keep pace with the murderous harpooners.
After the sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign by the DCC I transferred my monthly donation of a day’s pay to Sea Shepherd. Donate here.
Two vessels from the environmental organization left Australia on December 5 bound for the freezing Southern Ocean in the Antarctic for its 11th campaign to disrupt the Japanese hunt.
Ocean Warrior, built with $12millionAU of financial support from the Dutch, British and Swedish lotteries, has already found one of the harpoon ships which meant the rest of the fleet would be near by.“The crews of the Ocean Warrior and the Steve Irwin have been battling through thick fog and ice to protect the whales in the Australian whale sanctuary,” said Ocean Warrior captain Adam Meyerson, referring to the sanctuary around Australia’s Antarctic territory.”Finding one of the hunter killer ships hiding behind an iceberg in a thick fog means that the rest of the fleet is nearby.”
He added that the group hoped to “have whaling in the Southern Ocean shut down by 2017”.
The Ocean Warrior has a powerful water cannon and is capable of outrunning the whalers.
Japan has previously sought court action to halt the anti-whaling campaigns, saying the activists ram their ships, snare propellers with ropes and harass crew with paint and stink bombs.
The Japanese fleet set sail on November 18 in defiance of a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling and international opposition. Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium in force since 1986.
But it exploits a loophole allowing for whales to be killed for the purposes of scientific research.
Tokyo claims it is trying to prove the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting for a traditional source of food (by killing 500 whales a year /?). But the meat from what it calls scientific research often ends up on dinner tables.
In 2014 the United Nations’ International Court of Justice ordered Tokyo to end the Antarctic hunt, saying it found permits issued by Japan were “not for purposes of scientific research.”
After the ruling Japan cancelled its 2014-15 hunt, only to resume it the following year under a new programme with a two-thirds cut in the target catch number (to almost 200)—saying the fresh plan was “genuinely scientific.” (yeah, right)
In addition to whale protection Sea Shepherd is involved in a variety of other ocean conservation efforts like removing abandoned ‘ghost nets‘ that still entangle and drown fish and vaquita porpoises in the Sea of Cortez and working with the Mexican Navy to capture poachers of the endangered totoaba fish.
The totoaba is a rare fish native to the Gulf which can measure up to 6 feet in length and weigh as much as 220 lbs. Fishing for totoaba has been banned by the Mexican government since 1975, but it continues to be hunted by poachers solely for its swim bladder, which is sold on the black market in China for more than $20,000 per kilo.
Source: Sea Shepherd
And here’s a huge album of some slippery and sleek wet mammals and a few other wonders of the deep: