Tag Archives | Whaling

Final voyage of the Japanese whaling fleet?

Japanese whaling fleet

Following a week of potentially crippling budgetary reviews and a high-profile visit from US President Barack Obama to Japan, shortly after 10am today the so-called ‘scientific’ whaling fleet crept out of port, as Greenpeace called for today’s departure to be the programme’s last.
Earlier, the environmental group unveiled a ‘Yes We Can’ banner in front of the factory ship Nisshin Maru, calling on new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and the visiting US President Barack Obama to work together to end whaling. Continue Reading →

Greenpeace Calls for End to Cover-ups, Lies, and Southern Ocean Whaling

WhalingGreenpeace today met the returning Japanese whaling fleet factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, with placards reading “Southern Ocean Whaling: Cover-ups, lies, 1.2 billion yen in taxes”. The environmental organisation also sought to document the offloading of the ships cargo of whale meat, the by-product of the so-called scientific hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which is chopped and boxed on board the factory ship ready for market.

Last year, boxes of embezzled whale meat, some falsely labelled “cardboard”, were offloaded and couriered to the homes of the ship”s crew. Whistleblowers told Greenpeace that this was standard practice, but the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ), the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) and Kyodo Senpaku (KS) publically denied it. It was only later that the three managed to get their stories straight and claimed that the boxes of prime whale meat were approved as “souvenirs”. Continue Reading →

Japan’s Whaling Industry Continues Spending Spree


Despite the worst recession in a generation, Japanese government officials arrive in Rome this week to defend a multi-billion yen whaling programme that is reviled by the international community and unwanted by taxpayers at home.

Japan has been so severely stricken by the financial crisis that last week it was reported that the government was even cutting the cost of making silver sake cups presented to people on their 100th birthday. In February, the government announced a drop in exports of 45% on the same period last year, while key industries are cutting both costs and jobs and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropped 3.3% in the last quarter of 2008 – twice the decline of US GDP. Yet, the Government of Japan is stubbornly refusing to consider cancelling the Southern Ocean whaling programme, which costs the taxpayer billions of yen. Continue Reading →

Secret U.S. Plan to Expand Whaling Released


Documents released today by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) confirm the United States’ leadership in negotiations to undo the global moratorium on commercial whaling and extend unprecedented authorization to the Government of Japan to kill whales off its coastline and in international waters.

“The plan released today is a bad deal for whales and international efforts to protect them,” said Patrick Ramage, IFAW Global Whale Program Director. “It would lift the commercial whaling moratorium; give new rights to the Government of Japan to kill protected whales, and permit illegal, high-seas whaling to continue. Rather than compromising hard-won conservation measures and finding ways for whaling to expand, the IWC and its member governments should be negotiating the terms under which Japan, Norway and Iceland will end their commercial whaling activities.” Continue Reading →