Whaling in Japan International Disgrace With Sea Shepherd

Whaling in Japan International Disgrace With Sea ShepardWhaling in Japan has come under fire again as news surfaces regarding a clash between Japanese whaling vessels and marine conservationists Sea Shepherd. Each side is blaming the other for the crash. The continued presence of whaling in Japan has become an international disgrace that is no longer tolerated by surrounding nations.

Around midnight, the conservationists found they were under attack by the Japanese whalers.  They claim that Japanese  trailed cables and ropes through the water to entangle the propeller of their ship the Steve Irwin. When Sea Shepherd sent out small boats to try disentangle the propeller, the whalers turned water canons on them and flung small projectiles in their direction. The whalers then crashed into their other ship the Bob Barker, damaging the bow. Captain Hammarstedt of the Steve Irwin stated that he had tried to evade the harpoon vessels to avoid major damage. Both ships remain sea worthy, but are in need of minor repairs when they return to port.

Sea Shepherd had been following the whaling vessels at a distance through the icy Ross sea for eight days. The sea is located off the coast of Antarctica where the whalers were preparing to harpoon a number of minke, humpback and fin whales in the  Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The conservationists had been preventing them from their task, blocking the way for Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru. This meant the ship could not load whales onto its decks. Conflicting reports have been issued in Japan, who claim Sea Shepard was the one dragging cables through the water and  preventing so-called research whaling.

Each year, Japan allows permits for the killing of around a thousand whales. This allowance is due to a loophole in the International Whaling Convention signed in 1946. The agreement states that countries can kill, take or treat whales for scientific research purposes. It is hoped however, that this year will mark the final year that Japanese whaling is permitted.

The country was taken to the International Court of Justice by the Australian government stating that they would not allow Japan to hunt whales under the disgraceful guise of scientific research any longer. This is the second time that Australia has taken them to task. Japan was found guilty of an earlier ruling in 2008, but refused to accept the jurisdiction of the court. This time around, they are being forced to defend their whaling stance. Sea Shepherd has put forward  a number of theories that demonstrate whales do not need to be killed for science as better results are formed from tracking them electronically and looking at feces rather than stomach contents to gain knowledge of their diets. However, if the court rules in favor of Japan, then it could overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling and increase the number of whales  killed each year.

Japan has claimed in the past that whale meat was part of their cultural heritage. However, history books show that the practice of whaling was limited to a very small number of villages until after the war, when it was deemed to be an easier protein to source than importing food from overseas.

The latest spat between Japanese whalers and Sea Shepherd as well as the impending court case serves to bring their shortcomings to light.  The disgraceful actions in the southern waters have alerted the Federal government, who has promised to look into the matter. Australian Environmental Minister has stated that everyone must adhere to international maritime laws.

By Sara Watson


Sydney Morning Herald
Business Insider
Business Week

15 Responses to "Whaling in Japan International Disgrace With Sea Shepherd"

  1. Glenn   February 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    It is disappointing to see derogatory remarks mads against an entire nation for the actions of a few. This is the type of feeling being stirred by the absolutely disgusting practice of killing whales and dolphins. Too bad the entire country has to wear the shame for a chosen few.

  2. Grace Tang   February 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

    If the international court rules in favor of the jap whalers then I’d think the judges have lost their marbles and the whole world would be doomed.
    The jap whalers’ conscience are seared. They’d believe their own lie just as they are too prideful to admit to their younger generations that japan was a WW2 ciminal. They have been teaching a lie to the jap students for a long long time that japan was a war victim. LOL! Japs are lousy liars.

  3. barry   February 3, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Great article, more articles similar to this in support of our dying oceans would really help in getting the word out.

  4. Timothy R. Sillett   February 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    ANYTHING for Money

  5. Val Bohme   February 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I wish they would just cut the crap and rid everyone of the Asian Japanese and China poachers. Sink their Nissin Maru, take the bastards to task about not honoring the International Whaling Convention. They need to be chastized to the fullest extent of the law for this garbage. How do they think they are above any laws? They get away with murdering the whales, sharks, sea turtles, dolphins and who knows what else. whatever it is they want they get. They deserve to be fed to the sharks they want to kill. Thank you Sea Shepherd for all you try and do, even without the support of some ignorant idiots.

  6. Bart   February 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    .. Like Karuna said; You guys are true heroes. And a lot more should be done by the international comunity, to combat this senseless sloughter. And what ever the “motive” of this pure savagery .. It’s just plain forbidden. As was Pearl Harbour 🙂 .. But I guess that whole attacking from the rear is just their thing. As for Sea Shepherd: All the best of what’s to come. And keep up the fight! Greetings from Holland 🙂

  7. oN dRE!   February 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Go Whales Navy!!!

  8. Karuna   February 3, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    True heroes well done Sea Shepherd crews as usual the government is gutless against the Japanese Whalers

  9. Bunty   February 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    What else is new, you can’t give advice to Japanese or Chinese renegades, they are not human, they are asian, they work for “themselves”. When we have to start buying bottled air to combat the pollution issue, Japan and China will still be pushing ultra low grade consumer products on us without a worry in the world, just the worry of not being able to buy bottle air if they don’t sell enough crap.

    • Amy   February 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      That was quite bigoted… or, in another word, ignorant. You want to group all Asians together like that and be derogatory? Well, I very much hope you realize there are European countries who still whale, unfortunately…. Don’t even get me started on the fact that poachers and scumbags don’t have a color, gender, nationality, or creed. You’ll find them in every culture. No one nation, or race, gender, or anything else, have been the ones to commit such acts. Renegades live EVERYWHERE.

  10. Lara Stielow   February 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Excellent article, people really don’t talk about this enough. I am curious where paul watson is hiding.

    • barry   February 3, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I don’t believe Paul Watson is hiding, he was in usa fighting a court action. Germany have dropped complaint. He is though naturally avoiding japan.

  11. Meg Mclean   February 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I hope you refer to the whalers Mischa Gielen? If so then I heartily agree

  12. Mermaid   February 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

    “Captain Hammarstedt of the Steve Irwin”

    I think you meant Captain Hammarstedt of the Bob Barker 🙂

  13. Mischa Gielen   February 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Why are they worrying about this bump. You should sink the bastards !


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