Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How Do We Stop the Whaling?

(Artist credit: Martin Allen)

While Australia has stepped up to the forefront in the global battle against Japan to cease and desist with their whaling program, the activist groups of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd remain divided on the best way to handle this dispute.

Greenpeace is taking a more diplomatic approach by applauding Japan's decision to suspend the humpback hunt, but at the same time they continue to apply pressure and strong encouragement for all whaling to end.

Sea Shepherd is much more blunt and outspoken and feel that not enough is being done and that Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, needs to basically grow a stronger backbone.


While Greenpeace -- which Shallhorn says will use "inflatable boats to get as close as we can to the whales so that the harpoon gunner doesn’t have a clear shot to kill whales" -- has welcomed the moves by the Rudd government to lobby for an end to the hunt, the more militant Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says that the monitoring of the Japanese fleet is not enough.

"These whales are being killed now and collecting evidence for some ‘down the road’ international court case that the Japanese will simply ignore is not going to stop the killing," says Sea Shepherd founder, Captain Paul Watson, via email from aboard one of the society’s ships, the Steve Irwin.

Captain Watson of the Sea Shepherd makes a good point here:

"Anything is an improvement on the ‘talk but do nothing’ policies of the previous Howard Government. Now we have the ‘take pictures and do nothing’ policy," Watson told IPS.

He says that this is "an opportunity for the Rudd Government to make a stand on whaling but they have to make a stand, not just the same old posturing. Diplomacy has failed for 21 years. Every year Japan gets bolder and more greedy and the kill figures steadily escalate."
Read more here: Activists Split Over Policy on Japanese Whaling

Meanwhile, Steve Irwin's (famed Crocodile Hunter and wildlife conservationist and who died last year) family lent their names to the stop whaling petition. I like what they had to say:

"This is Japan's opportunity to become global heroes. I'm confident that one day we will look back on whaling in the same way we look back at slavery and cannibalism," Terri Irwin said.

"Not everyone can make this issue their life's work, not everyone can spend their earnings protecting wildlife, but everyone has the ability to put their name down and be counted."

Paul Watson, Captain of the Sea Shepherd, is willing to put his life on the line to see that the whale killing is stopped.


He hopes to have the whalers in his sights within the next week and has pledged to do whatever it takes to stop the slaughter of nearly 1000 whales - even if it means putting his life on the line.

"We have taken risks for over 30 years so the answer is yes, I am prepared to risk my life in order to save the whales. I have no problem risking one's life to protect an endangered species like a whale.

"I think that those who dedicate themselves to protecting this planet leave behind the most noble of legacies. The Japanese call us eco-terrorists, but an eco-terrorist is someone who terrorises the environment.

"The audacity of the Japanese to call us this when we have never harmed anyone nor have we been convicted of a crime, while they fill the oceans with the hot blood of the whales they illegally slaughter."

Read more here: Radical 'prepared to die' for whales

Have you signed the petition to end whaling? If not, please do so. This is an international petition and the more people around the globe that sign it, the more pressure Japan will feel. Which hopefully will lead to a positive change and ultimately, an end to ALL whaling.

The whales have a voice in each of us .... please make it heard.

Sign the petition here




  1. Japanese "scientific" whaling: the research program doing for marine biology what Unit 731 did for medical science!

  2. I hear ya tannum ...

    I read your blog post on this ... thanks for sharing!