*Japan has given its six months’ notice to leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and resume barbaric and inhumane commercial whaling.
Since 1987, Japan has hidden behind a thin veil of “lethal scientific whale research.” Not only has Japan produced no meaningful scientific discoveries in 31 years, but also, they have been selling whale body parts in the commercial marketplace.
By renouncing research and declaring commercial whaling as their primary objective, Japan now joins Norway and Iceland in their open defiance of international conservation law. All three countries are pirate whaling nations.
Since Japan’s exit doesn’t formally commence until July 1, 2019, the minke whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary are in danger from hideous Japanese grenade-tipped harpoons.
“Right now, Japanese whalers are not too far from Australia, slaughtering hundreds of whales in an Antarctic marine sanctuary, despite international condemnation and in breach of Australian law, said, Australian Greens Healthy Oceans spokesman, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“Whether it’s in the Antarctic, in Australia, or even in Japan, commercial whaling should not be tolerated,” warned Whish-Wilson.
There are pluses, however, that will result from Japan’s recent announcement.
…the minke whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary are in danger from hideous Japanese grenade-tipped harpoons.”
For instance, the IWC can finally pass the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. The commission can also concentrate on conservation instead of whaling. Japan, in fact, has been the single biggest detriment to the IWC during its entire membership of 67 years.
Allow me to remind you that Man annihilated nearly three million masterpiece whales during the 20th century. My colleagues deemed it “the largest hunt in human history.” By the way, the whales globally have not recovered.
Japan’s departure paves the way for the IWC to once and for all condemn industrial whaling.
We need all whales alive, performing their vital role as farmers of the sea. Their flocculent fecal plumes are rich in iron and nitrogen, essential fertilizers for phytoplankton, the basis of the entire marine food web.
Phytoplankton along with blue green bacteria provides 7.7 billion humans with almost two of every three breathes of oxygen.
Accelerated burning of subsidized fossil fuels has caused atmospheric oxygen levels to plummet. In addition, that fossil fuel heat in the ocean is the culprit for precluding cold currents rich in iron and nitrogen from rising to the surface and fertilizing the phytoplankton. Hence, 40 percent of the oceanic phytoplankton is missing.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need the whales alive to generate more oxygen. 100 trillion cells within each of us depend upon a plentiful supply of oxygen. All living whales are invaluable.
There’s another bonus from Japan leaving the IWC. They will not kill whales (after this forthcoming season) in the Southern Ocean because it’s an international whale sanctuary that strictly prohibits commercial whaling. This also means that Japan can withdraw from its Antarctic whaling without losing face.
Since 2002, Sea Shepherd Australia’s direct action conservation in the Antarctic Ocean has heroically spared the lives of more than 6,000 whales. Moreover, with Japan abandoning its lethal scientific whale research, Sea Shepherd will have achieved their objective: a whaling free Southern Ocean.
“Sea Shepherd has been relentlessly on the front line for over a decade defending the whales in the Southern Ocean, and a cessation of whaling off Antarctica is a great victory for all our efforts over the years, the international crews, the supporters and the majority of Australians and people all over the world that have opposed whaling in the Southern Ocean. With limitless courage, passion and determination, we have made a seemingly impossible task, possible,” proudly remarked Jeff Hansen, Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia.
Kudos to all the brave vegan crews at Sea Shepherd for protecting our brethren, the whales!
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
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