For the second year in a row The Sea Shepherds have forced the Japanese whling fleet to end their illegal whaling in the antartic and head home early. Bravo!
In 1986 the International Whaling commission banned commercial whaling, but Japan has continued using a loophole allowing “Scientific research” , hiding behind the phony Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), killing, or attempting to kill 1,000 or more whales a year. The meat from these whales is then packaged and sold on the market in Japan, where much of it ends up in school lunch programs. There is evidence that the Japanese themselves no longer have a taste for whale meat, hence most of the meat being purchased by government programs.
This year it is estimated that due to combination of bad weather coupled with the continued efforts of the Sea Shepherds that the fleet is heading home with only 30% of their quota.
The Japanese research of the ICR has been been routinely criticized by other scientists as not meeting even the lowest standards of scientific research.
The truth is Japanese whaling is an anachronism. Their pride and adherence to a tradition that no longer has any meaning in their culture.
There are many similiarities to the situation that arose with the Makah tribe in nw Washington state at the end of the 1990’s. The tribe asserted it’s historical right to hunt whales, and machine gunned a gray whale in 1999. And the bulk of the whale meat ended up in the landfill, as no one in the tribe could stomach it.
We see whales dying, being brutally slaughtered, for no reason other then pride and adherence to a tradition that no longer has relevance.
It is long past time for the worlds governments, especially Australia, to enforce the laws that already exist. And it is long past time for all governments to take steps to get Japan to stop their illegal killing of whales. It is a sad statement on humankind that private citizens must risk their lives every year to enforce the laws of governments that they selmes refuse to enforce for purely political reasons.