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IWC: quota for slaughter? People love whales; whalers kill. Handful of Sea Shepherd volunteers saved 1899 whales in 6 seasons


By WcP.Observer - Posted on 22 June 2010

Captain Paul Watson: ‘I’m not here to watch them kill whales, I’m here to STOP them.’

Whale Wars 2010: Sea Shepherd cut Japanese whalers’ quota in half, whalers cut Earthrace/Ady Gil in half and jailed Skipper Peter Bethune

Whale Wars: war to save whales from slaughter

The Nordic spokesman for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) contrasted Danish people's response to the whale's plight to Denmark's policy on whaling. "Everyone wants to save the whale of the Vejle fjord but no one can. Everyone can save the thousands of whales brutally killed each year but no-one wants to," said Morten Rasmussen. Denmark was set to back whaling nations at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission being held in Morocco from June 21, 2010. Sea Shepherd, the exception out of 7 billion people, in 6 consecutive missions, have saved a total of 1899 whales: 83 in 2005/2006, 500 in 2006/2007, 483 in 2007/2008, 305 in 2008/2009, 528 in 2009/2010 in 31-day mission (cutting Japanese whaling fleet’s quota by half, and whalers cut anti-whaling boat Earthrace/Ady Gil in half, and skipper/anti-whaler jailed).

(quote)

A whale stranded for three days on the edge of a Danish fjord suddenly began swimming again Friday, astounding rescuers and experts who had predicted it was on the edge of death - "It's fantastic, a miracle," witness Lisbeth Blumenkranz told AFP after the fin whale started moving. "I saw it at around 6:20 p.m., breathing, moving and swimming. Everyone thought it was dying, but it's alive."

Thousands of people had flocked to see the distressed whale at the Vejle fjord in western Denmark as rescuers made repeated yet vain attempts since Wednesday morning to help it return to the water at high tide. Police spokesman Joergen Jacobsen confirmed that the giant mammal -- weighing up to 33 tons and believed to be three or four years old -- had started moving again. Helped by the tide, the whale was swimming "towards the back of the fjord and not towards the high sea, and firemen will try in the evening to point it towards the channel to rejoin the school (of whales)," he said.

Just hours earlier, rescuers had said they had decided to allow the whale to "die naturally and in peace" and firefighters were spraying it with water to protect it from the sun in what were assumed to be its last moments. Experts who saw the whale earlier Wednesday said it was ill and that there was "almost no chance" of it surviving, said Henrik Lykke Soerensen, operations coordinator at the Danish Forest and Nature agency, part of the environment ministry. "We do not have experience in putting down such large sea mammals and even if one tried it could take hours without any guarantee of success according to the experts," added Soerensen. Whale expert Tyge Jensen, in agreement with other biologists, said he believed that the whale was "ill and out of instinct left the school (of whales) in order to die alone."

The Nordic spokesman for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) contrasted Danish people's response to the whale's plight to Denmark's policy on whaling.

"Everyone wants to save the whale of the Vejle fjord but no one can. Everyone can save the thousands of whales brutally killed each year but no-one wants to," said Morten Rasmussen.

Denmark was set to back whaling nations at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission being held in Morocco from Monday, he added.

53,000 New Zealanders sign anti-whaling petition - A petition signed by 53,000 people calling for the government to protect the future of the international whale population was presented to the office of Foreign Minister Murray McCully as an important International Whaling Commission (IWC) looms. Anti-whaling groups congregated on the steps of Parliament to press their case and various speakers talked about the need for New Zealand to do everything possible to help put an end to whaling. Australia recently initiated legal action in the International Court of Justice over Japan's current Southern Ocean whaling activities.

Radio Australia: Australia takes Japan to court over whaling - After years of threats, Australia is finally taking international legal action against Japan to stop it's scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean. But Canberra is now fighting on two fronts to halt whaling globally. The International Whaling Commission will consider a compromise at its June meeting that would allow commercial whaling. If approved, that would undermine Australia's efforts .. though Canberra says it's ready to fight on two fronts.

Outrage against Norway’s whaling: Over 101,000 people call for an end to cruelty - WSPA’s call to speak out against Norway’s cruel whaling has been met by support from around the world. Norway now needs to explain how they can defend their outdated practice. The public outcry comes as Norway - one of only three countries still pursuing commercial whaling despite a global ban - prepares to defend its whaling next week at the 62nd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Agadir, Morocco. The meeting may vote on a disastrous proposal that would effectively lift the 25 year old ban on commercial whaling and award Norway a quota of 6,000 minke whales over the next 10 years. The release of new footage demonstrating the cruelty of Norwegian whaling prompted a significant surge in the public response to the petition that had already been signed by thousands of people from around the world – including more than 5,000 Norwegians – demanding an end to this cruel and unnecessary practice.

More than 650,000 of us have signed the petition to protect whales: the world will not accept legal whale slaughter.

US Congress Calls On President Obama To Say No To Whaling - A letter signed by 67 Representatives was delivered to President Obama, urging him to require the IWC’s U.S. delegation to uphold the current ban on commercial whaling. An excerpt from the letter, led by Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Chairwoman, reads as follows:

"The fact that Japan, Iceland and Norway have continued whaling during the international moratorium --the former under the guise of scientific research that has been disavowed by the scientific community and the latter two continuing to whale commercially under an objection -should not be rewarded. Yet, in addition to granting these specific countries quotas to harvest whales, the proposal would fail to eliminate the scientific research and other loopholes in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling that have allowed commercial whaling to continue. It also would not prohibit the commercial trade of whale meat. Adding insult to injury, citizens from the U.S. and the majority of other countries who are party to the IWC and oppose commercial whaling would be asked to subsidize the resumption and regulation of this activity through the increased dues that they would pay to the organization."

Whales Worth More Alive: Uphold the Moratorium Against Whale Hunting - In the nineteenth century, in these very lagoons, Yankee whaling ships slaughtered the North Pacific Gray Whales, just a few thousand short of extinction. (The North Atlantic Gray Whale population was hunted to extinction in the 1800s.) Since the whaling moratorium, the gray whales have rebounded, becoming one of the 20th century's most vital conservation successes. "It does not make good "eco-nomic" sense, says Doug Thompson, author of ‘Whales: Touching the Mystery’, "Bottom-line, whales are worth more alive than dead. The economic advantages weigh firmly on the side of whale watching, not whale hunting."

Are we willing to stand up for a future ocean that is bountiful and healthy for future generations of humans and whales?

New Zealand Green MP Hughes: Whaling Countries Mock IWC Compromise - Pro-whaling countries have hiked up their whaling quotas in an attempt to skew the negotiations at the upcoming IWC meeting, and are manipulating New Zealand's negotiating position, the Green Party said today.

"Norway's quota is the highest in 25 years. It is neither a reflection of consumer demand nor scientific need, but a political decision to skew negotiations," Green Party Oceans Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

According to the Telegraph newspaper in London, Norway's quota has jumped from 885 last year to 1286 this year.

Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett has called the move 'unhelpful and provocative.'

Mr Hughes said: "Pro-whaling countries are setting themselves up to make a mockery of these negotiations, just as they have made a mockery of the good faith of the IWC Convention in the past. The New Zealand Government should not change the law to suit those who break it.

"Sir Geoffrey Palmer entered negotiations in good faith, but it is now clear this approach is not working. New Zealand needs a stronger stance. The New Zealand Government needs to focus on an end to whaling, because clearly whaling nations intend to abuse any compromise deal at the IWC. We must stand beside our Australian partners in this battle and take international legal action," Mr Hughes said.

Germany Delivers an Ultimatum to Iceland on Whaling - The German parliament declared to Iceland that in order to be granted EU membership, Iceland must stop whaling.

The German congress had passed a decree on April 22nd, 2010 to declare full support for formal negotiations with Iceland with the aim of bringing Iceland in as a full member of the European Union. But the decree carried the stipulation that Iceland must make amends with regards to whale preservation in accordance with international and EU law.

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Iceland's whale hunting tradition despite a ban, which it wants lifted, looms as a major hurdle in its upcoming membership talks with the European Union where all cetaceans are legally protected. - A February report by the EU Commission on Iceland's application for membership was clear: "Necessary steps will need to be undertaken as regards the protection of cetaceans". Britain and Germany have urged their EU partners to resist a call, expected at an International Whaling Commission meeting in Morocco this week, to lift the moratorium on whale hunting which has Iceland's support and that of fellow whaling nations Japan and Norway.

Icelandic hunters specialise in taking the fin whale, with a quota of 150 this year. The country resumed commercial whaling in 2006, and in 2009 set a quota for 150 fin whales, the second largest animals, over five years, despite their "endangered" status, according to WWF. Not only is that against EU rules but it is "also unnecessary," argues Saskia Richartz, marine specialist for Greenpeace in Brussels. "Most of the 1,500 tonnes of meat produced last year continue to sit in freezers," she adds.

Pierce Brosnan Stars in 'Mr. President,' a PSA for SaveTheWhalesNow.org - "There is no moral, scientific, or economic justification for slaughtering whales," the actor calls on the Commander-in-Chief to stay true to his 2008 pledge to "ensure the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international ban on commercial whaling."

Directed by Pascal Franchot, the PSA breaks during CBS' "Face the Nation" and implores viewers to visit SaveTheWhalesNow.org - where they can sign an online petition - and to call the White House. The campaign is spearheaded by award winning journalist, author, and television correspondent/producer Keely Shaye Brosnan, who developed the concept and assembled a coalition comprised of The Humane Society of the United States, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). “Whales are not just a commodity," she said. "They are an integral part of our ecosystem.”

Pierce Brosnan is the global whale spokesperson for IFAW, and Franchot has been involved with the group for the past eight years. He directed the Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron PSA’s for the organization; Theron appeared in a spot focused on an oil spill in South Africa affecting penguins, while DiCaprio promoted elephant conservation at the Meru National Park in Kenya. Franchot was attending IFAW's elephant ivory trade band conference last month when he was approached about the SaveTheWhalesNow campaign.

"As a director, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to participate in a campaign that will cause a positive change in the world today," said Franchot. The project, which was produced pro bono, boasts a score by GRAMMY winner Peter Kater. It was shot on RED, and posted at Beef Films' partner company Chop House Edit. "Part of our mission was to deliver a beautiful, provocative piece that will turn heads and influence people and ultimately our environment's health and vitality," said Partner/Artist Stephen Hens. "On the technical side, our RED workflow allowed for a flexible and custom finishing path, which was especially important given the urgency of the project (the whaling proposal will be voted on this month)."

Campaign to stop whaling - officially hit the 1-million mark Sat Feb 23, 2008, and currently 1,111,395 people have signed to tell the world that the senseless slaughter of whales must end. The 1,000,000+ names will be presented to both the Australian and New Zealand governments along with the IWC.

Latin American Countries Opposed to Whaling Meet in Costa Rica - Eleven Latin American countries, advocates of a total ban on whaling, began a three day meeting in Costa Rica yesterday to hammer out a common position ahead of the next conference of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in June. “Our country maintains a solid conservationist position against the hunting of whales,” said Costa Rica’s representative to the IWC, Javier Rodriguez. Argentina, Brazil, Chile Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay make up the Buenos Aires group.

Chilean Senators want International Whaling Commissioner ousted - Chilean senators Juan Pablo Letelier and Guido Girardi met with the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Fernando Schmidt, to plead the removal of Chilean Cristián Maquieira from his position as chairman of the International Whaling Commission.

The senators, echoing concerns voiced by numerous environmental groups, said Maquieira supports a new international whaling agreement that gives the colour of legitimacy whale killing quotas.

Such quotas are “absolutely contrary to what Chile has always stood for, and are regressive for international attempts to uphold whale populations by prohibiting unchecked whaling,” said Sen. Letelier.

Letelier insisted that he was not advocating an “extremist ecological agenda,” but was simply trying to spark awareness that “the human species lives on a planet in which we are dependent on our environment. We have a responsibility to maintain the ocean ecosystem that covers 70% of the Earth”.

“Chile has a long-established stance against the killing of whales,” said Girardi. “We concluded long ago that it's a serious ecological crime against humanity and it is totally unacceptable,”

Earlier this year, the IWC announced a new proposal to grant whaling quotas to countries in the organization. It will be further discussed and voted on during the next IWC meeting from June 21-25 in Morocco. The new proposal would replace the 25-year moratorium on whaling with quotas for allowed hunting, asserting that this would help lessen the ongoing illegal hunting presenting being done by some countries such as Norway, Iceland and Japan.

Brazil Declares Whale Sanctuary Along Entire Coast - December 18, 2008 (ENS) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva today signed a federal decree establishing the Brazilian Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary, reinforcing protection for all cetacean species in Brazilian jurisdictional waters. Brazilian waters stretch along the nation's 8,000 kilometer (5,000 mile) long coastline on the east and northeast coast of South America.

According to Brazilian Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission Jos? Truda Palazzo, Jr., "the initiative sends a clear and powerful message to the international community in relation to Brazil's commitment towards whale conservation, and also reinforces our campaign for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary to be established in the entire oceanic basin." In September, Chile enacted a law declaring Chilean jurisdictional waters to be a whale sanctuary, protecting the cetaceans all along its 5,500 km (3,400 mile) long shoreline on the west coast of South America.

Whales closer to us than thought, say scientists. As the future of whales once more comes under global debate, some scientists say the marine mammals are not only smarter than thought but also share several attributes once claimed as exclusively human - Self-awareness, suffering and a social culture along with high mental abilities are a hallmark of cetaceans, an order grouping more than 80 whales, dolphins and porpoises, say marine biologists.

If so, the notion that whales are intelligent and sentient beings threatens to demolish, like an explosive harpoon, the assumption that they are simply an animal commodity to be harvested from the sea.

That belief lies at the heart of talks unfolding at the International Whaling Commission (IWC), meeting from Monday to Friday in Agadir, Morocco.

A fiercely-contested proposal would authorise whale hunts by Japan, Norway and Iceland for 10 more years, ending a 24-year spell in which these nations -- tarred as outlaws by a well-organised green campaign -- have snubbed or sidelined the IWC's moratorium on whaling.

"We now know from field studies that a lot of the large whales exhibit some of the most complex behaviour in the animal kingdom," said Lori Marino, a neurobiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

A decade ago, Marino conducted an experiment with bottlenose dolphins in which she placed a small mark on their body and had the mammals look at themselves in a mirror.

By the way the dolphins reacted to the image and then looked at the spot, it was clear that they had a sense of self-identity, Marino determined.

For Georges Chapouthier, a neurobiologist and director of the Emotion Centre at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, self-awareness means that dolphin and whales, along with some higher primates, can experience not just pain but also suffering.

Unlike nociception -- a basic nerve response to harmful stimuli found in all animals -- or lower-order pain, "suffering supposes a certain level of cognitive functioning," he said in an interview.

"It is difficult to define what that level is, but there's a lot of data now to suggest some higher mammals have it, including great apes, dolphins and, most likely, whales."

As for intelligence, cetaceans are second only to humans in brain size, once body weight is taken into account.

More telling than volume, though, are cerebral areas which specialise in cognition and emotional processing -- and the likelihood that this evolution was partly driven by social interaction, according to several peer-reviewed studies.

Some scientists suggest this interaction can best described as culture, a notion usually reserved for homo sapiens.

"Evidence is growing that for at least some cetacean species, culture is both sophisticated and important," said Hal Whitehead, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

If culture is learned behaviour passed on across generations that is different from one community to the next, then humpback whales, to cite one example, are rather cultured indeed.

"At any time during the winter breeding season, all the males in any ocean sing more or less the same elaborate song, but this communal song evolves over months and years," Whitehead and colleagues noted in a study in the journal Biological Conservation.

Two orca communities that rarely intermingle despite sharing the same waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, meanwhile, have learned to divide their natural bounty: and one group eats fish and the other mammals, especially seals, Whitehead reported.

Such findings are disturbing factors in the calculus of conservation. "If we wipe out a sub-group, it is more than killing a certain number of individuals. It could actually wipe out an entire culture," Marino said.

Scientists petition Japan to lay down harpoons [May 23, 2002] - A full-page petition in the New York Times, in English and Japanese, signed by 21 eminent scientists, including Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson and Jane Lubchenco, and the Nobel prize-winners Roger Guillemin, Sir Aaron Klug and Alan MacDiarmid... Though it was published half a world away, the petitioners' real target audience was in Kasumigaseki, the central Tokyo district that is the heart of Japan's bureaucratic machine. That is because, unfortunately, with all the hype and hyperbole swirling around the whaling debate here, it is nearly impossible to get a sensible word in edgeways in Japan. The scientists, therefore, were hoping their concerns might have a better chance of being heard if broadcast from that distant but exalted podium.

The appeal, calling on "the government of Japan" to halt its "scientific whaling" program (quotation marks in the original), appeared in Monday's issue to coincide with the opening of the plenary session of the International Whaling Commission's 54th annual meeting. The IWC conference closes Friday, ending a month of heated meetings and discussions that have taken place in Japan's western port city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Though unusual, this is not the first time conservationists have resorted to paid-for press coverage. Similar efforts to "air Japan's dirty laundry" before the eyes of the world have met with some degree of success in protecting Japanese communities, coral reefs and forests threatened with environmental degradation.

Nevertheless, whaling does not lack well-aired, unwashed laundry. Every year, in the leadup to the IWC's annual meeting, individuals, organizations and governments trade arguments for and against whaling. This year, Japanese whaling proponents are claiming whales are suffering from overpopulation, leading to starvation and mass beachings, and also that they are consuming valuable fish resources. They have also accused anti-whaling nations of using intimidation to secure votes from developing countries -- and have alleged that the antiwhaling movement was begun to deflect anti-American criticism during the Vietnam War.

Critics of whaling, for their part, accuse Japan of using foreign aid to "buy" votes in the IWC, of misreporting whale catches and of mislabeling whale meat. They argue that harpoons cause slow and brutal death, and they dismiss the Japanese view of marine ecosystems as overly simplistic and flawed. So what do some of the world's top scientists think of all this? Below is the wording of the petition, with . . . indicating a cut for length.

An open letter to the government of Japan

Despite its obligation to comply with a global moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan has killed thousands of whales over the past decade, claiming an exemption for "scientific whaling" under international law. We, the undersigned scientists, believe Japan's whale-research program fails to meet minimum standards for credible science. In particular:

We are concerned that Japan's whaling program is not designed to answer scientific questions relevant to the management of whales; that Japan has refused to make the information it collects available for independent review; and that its research program lacks a testable hypothesis or other performance indicators consistent with accepted scientific standards.

Most of the data being gathered by Japan's "scientific whaling" are obtainable by non-lethal means; it is possible, for example, to determine species, gender, population size, migration patterns, stock fidelity, and other key biological information without harming whales. . . .

The commercial nature of Japan's whaling program conflicts with its scientific independence. Japan sells meat from the whales it kills on commercial markets and assigns "scientific whaling" quotas to individual whaling villages. These commercial ties create a profit incentive to kill whales even when no scientific need exists . . .

Japan has announced it will soon begin killing sei whales, an internationally listed endangered species, ostensibly to determine the whales' diet. . . . There is no reasonable likelihood that killing additional sei whales now will add to what is already known about their diet.

By continuing to fund and carry out this program, Japan opens itself to serious charges that it is using the pretense of scientific research to evade its commitments to the world community. As scientists, we believe this compromises objective decision-making and undermines public confidence in the role of science to guide policy. Accordingly, we respectfully urge the Japanese government to suspend its "scientific whaling" program.

Sincerely,

[21 individual scientists]

Marine Scientists Petition to the IWC [June 2010] - We the undersigned marine scientists respectfully call on the member nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) not to undermine the conservation achievements of the last few decades by again endorsing commercial whaling at their next meeting.

We are aware that at its 62nd meeting in Agadir, Morocco, June 21st- 25th, the IWC will consider a proposal to grant catch limits to the three member nations of the IWC – Japan, Norway and Iceland - that continue to take whales for commercial gain, using well-known loopholes in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. The proposal will even permit whaling in a Marine Protected Area (“sanctuary” in the terminology of the IWC) created specifically to protect whales in large parts of their ranges. We believe that to do so would be highly inappropriate and untimely and would again risk the future of the whales.

Whilst aware that some whale populations are showing signs of increase in the absence of whaling pressure, partly as a successful result of the global “moratorium” on commercial
whaling adopted in 1982, and partly from application of the management procedures agreed in 1975, such increases are not a sufficient rationale to justify the IWC endorsing commercial catches. There is no evidence that any of the few populations and species known to be increasing have reached, or are anywhere near, the levels that might justify non-zero catch limits under the IWC’s existing management and conservation policies and procedures. Furthermore, whales inhabit marine ecosystems that are now increasingly impacted by human activities ranging from oil spills to the effects of persistent pollutants, climate change and increased ship traffic and other hazards; these provide further rationale for providing these remarkable animals of the global commons with the highest possible levels of protection, including protecting them from commercial takes.

The lessons of the past show that commercial whaling has always been intractable to sustainable management, and we see no changes in the attitudes of the industry which continues to favour extracting monetary value from the whales as fast as possible and, in the process, evading and obstructing efforts to ensure full compliance with international regulations and transparent supervision. The long-lived and slow-breeding whales are also difficult and expensive to monitor adequately. We are also growing increasingly aware of the complexity of their population structures, behaviour and societies.

Given the risks involved and that commercial whaling meets no essential human need, we call on all the IWC governments to abandon experiments in the lethal use of whales and instead refocus their efforts on the conservation of whale populations, on understanding their roles in the marine ecosystems of which they are important parts, and promoting, where appropriate, responsible non-lethal uses of them such as whale-watching.

Signatories:
1. Sidney Holt D.Sc. Adviser to charity Global Ocean, Italy
2. Mark Peter Simmonds, International Director of Science, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK
3. Professor Hal Whitehead, Dalhousie University, Canada
4. David Suzuki, Canada
5. Sylvia Earle, USA
6. Erich Hoyt, Senior Research Fellow, WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Scotland
7. Paul Spong, Director, Orca Lab, Canada
8. Mike Bossley, The Australian Dolphin Research Foundation
9. Bernd Würsig, Texas A&M University, USA
10. Alexandra Morton, Canada
11. Craig Matkin, USA
12. David Bain, USA
13. Brigitte M. Weiß, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
14. Rob Lott, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK
15. Lindy Weilgart, Research Associate, Dalhousie University and Scientific Advisor, Okeanos Foundation, Canada
16. Margi Prideaux, Australia
17. Ingrid N. Visser, Senior Scientist, Orca Research Trust, New Zealand
18. Cara Miller, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society International, Flinders University, Australia
19. Sarah Dolman, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Scotland
20. Stephen Palumbi, Director, Hopkins Marine Station, USA
21. Robin W. Baird, Cascadia Research Collective, USA
22. L. Neil Frazer, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
23. David K. Mellinger, Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies Oregon State University, USA
24. David Ainley, LastOcean Trust, New Zealand
25. Tosca Ballerini, Old Dominion University, USA
26. Robert B. Dunbar, Stanford University, USA
27. Diego Narvaez, Old Dominion University, USA
28. Ida Ballerini, UK
29. Andrea Piñones, Old Dominion University, USA
30. James P. Barry, USA
31. Gerald Kooyman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA
32. Kumaran Sathasivam, India
33. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive, Nature, Seychelles
34. Tina Tin, France
35. Giacomo Tavecchia, Spain
36. Umer Waqas, Pakistan
37. Karsten Brensing, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Germany
38. Andrew Willson, Environment Society of Oman
39. Kanjana Adulyanukosol, Senior Marine Biologist, Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center (Upper Gulf ), Thailand
40. Joseph T. Eastman, Professor, Ohio University, USA
41. Peter Corkeron, USA
42. Robert Baldwin, Oman

Nations Against Whaling - Nations, led by Brazil and the UK have issued a formal diplomatic statement known as a demarche to the Japanese government. The demarche was delivered to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 16th, and to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry yesterday. It calls on Japan to, "cease all its lethal scientific research on whales". UK government's press release:

In the 31 years prior to the introduction of the commercial whaling moratorium, only 840 whales were killed globally by Japan for scientific research. More than 6,800 Antarctic Minke Whales have already been killed in Antarctic waters under the 18 years of the Japanese Whale Research Programme.

Their goal is to kill more whales every year for "research" than they did for research in the entire 31 years before the moratorium went into effect. The IWC Scientific Committee has also claimed their self governed quota's are unacceptable and has no scientific basis.

Several other nations have also criticised Icelandic and Norwegian whaling operation as they deem it to be in violation of international trade laws under CITES as they are illegal exporting endangered whale meat to Japan. Where only a proportion is sold, the rest is stock piled, given away free and placed in pet food.

The nations listed below have voted to stop illegal whaling and will continue to be opposed against the three major whaling nations until their international violations stop.

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Britain
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Czech Republic
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Luxembourg
Mexico
Monaco
New Zealand
Portugal
San Marino
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
The Netherlands
U.S.A
Uruguay
...and more...

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Sea Shepherd & TED

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