(Japan, Norway, Iceland) – Yes, this still goes on, against world protest; over a thousand whales killed this year alone, in spite of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) banning it. The Japanese, who kill the most by far, exploit a loophole in the ban which was meant for a small number to be allowed killed for research, and they continue to increase their slaughter numbers each year. At the same time, they continue the Taiji annual dolphin slaughter of 23,000 (2nd photo), capturing some of the babies for export to marine parks and swim-with-dolphin parks. Everyone who pays to do that has swam with a dolphin whose parents were murdered in front of their babies.
The cove in Taiji Japan where the largest dolphin slaughter and capture in the world occurs.
A harpooned whale is about to be dragged onto the ship to be slaughtered
Who’s fighting it: Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, IDA, AWI, WSPA, Save the Japan Dolphins Coalition, Campaign Whale, Elsa Nature Conservancy, Ocean Care, Humane Society International, ALF, Sea Watch Foundation, Animals Australia, Earth Island Institute, Oceanic Preservation Society, Whaleman.org, Whalecall.org, All-Creatures.org, savejapandolphins.org
This year the Japanese fleet will kill another 1,000 whales off the coast of Antarctica, in what they are calling a “feasibility study” for expanded “research” whaling (no other scientists on the planet agree that killing so many whales is warranted for scientific or any other purpose). The IWC agreed to a moratorium on commercial whaling that came into effect in 1986. In 1987, Japan continued killing whales, calling it “research”, and continues to sell the mercury-laden result of this “research” in shops and restaurants, and even to schools for children’s lunches, in spite of evidence that the meat contains heavy metals and other toxins from human pollution.
Carl Sagan once said, “We are searching for extra-terrestrial intelligence to communicate with; wouldn’t it be a good idea to learn how to communicate with an intelligent terrestrial species– the whales?” We humans have just barely begun to understand the rich and complex language of whalesong. Whales and dolphins are also sacred to many indigenous peoples like the “whaledreamer” Mirning aborigines of Australia, who have practiced whale-watching rituals for centuries. Every whale killed is one less that will visit their shores.
Captain Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Society volunteer crews have been making annual trips to Antarctica to stop them. The killing area lies almost entirely within Australia’s Antarctic Territory, yet they do nothing to stop the Japanese, a powerful trading partner. Their navy will eagerly pursue Patagonian toothfish poachers, but turn a blind eye to the Japanese whalers.
In fact no government in the world has taken a stand against them. While Greenpeace harasses them, only Sea Shepherd and their ship, the Farley Mowat, actively tries to stop them.
It’s time to put an end to cetacean murder forever.
Recent progress: While governments are doing nothing to stop the killing, activists are taking matters into their own hands. “The Cove” documentary film by Rick O’Barry, of Japan’s annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji cove, has released this summer of 2009. It is raising awareness of not only the Taiji slaughter but the cozy bond between trafficking in live dolphins for aquariums and swim-with-the-dolphins programs and the that of the dolphin massacres. Also broadcasting summer 2009 is season 2 of “Whale Wars”, Animal Planet’s hugely popular serial documentary show of the Sea Shepherd’s fight against the Japanese whalers in the Antarctic.
Finally, the word is getting out mainstream.
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