Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Legal Ruling on Whaling

(Artist credit: Jeff Wilkie)

The Humane Society International sought, and won, a landmark injunction in Australia's Federal Court against the Japanese whalers. More specifically, the injunction names the company that owns the whaling ships such as the Nisshin Maru and the Yushin Maru (among others in its fleet) Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd.. The ruling defines the whaling as being illegal within Australia's economic zone, "which extends 200 nautical miles from Australian-declared territory in Antarctica and in the southern Pacific Ocean." (source: Herald Tribune)

Of course, in their continued arrogant fashion, Japan has stated they will ignore any injunction granted against them.

Excerpt from the legal ruling:

"The court orders that the respondent be restrained from killing, injuring, taking or interfering with any Antarctic minke whale, fin whale or humpback whale in the Australian whale sanctuary, or treating or possessing any such whale killed or taken in the Australian whale sanctuary," Federal Court judge James Allsop said in his ruling.

Link to article: Judge Grants Anti-Whaling Ban Against Japan

The Australian Whale Sanctuary is not recognized by Japan. Enforcement will be a challenge, but one that Australia will now be legally bound by.

The Humane Society has become another organization at the forefront in speaking up against the whale culling and calling upon the Rudd Administration in Australia to "live up to their campaign promises." The pressure is continuing to mount.

This ruling is good news, and comes after a three year battle in the courts on this between Humane Society Int'l and Japan. It's now incumbent upon Australian government to ensure this law is immediately enforced. Under this law, Australia can now legally intercept these whaling ships and order them to stop the killing. Will the Rudd Admin. finally prove it's commitment to end the whaling? Now's their chance.

Another good article on this issue: Humane Society Tells Rudd Government: Fullfill Election Promise on Whaling

Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd is almost caught up with both Greenpeace and the whalers. Greenpeace claims they have chased the whalers from the sanctuary and have gotten them to stop the whale culling, at least for now. It is believed that the Japan fleets were steaming north to rendezvous with their tanker, the Oriental Bluebird to refuel, restock, and to offload the whale meat they have processed so far.

On the Sea Shepherd website:

“As long as the Japanese whalers are running, they will not be killing whales. If they stop to kill whales, we will catch up with them,” said Steve Irwin’s 2nd Officer Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden. “And when we do catch them, we won’t be sitting down to tea with them - we intend to make this a season for them to remember.”

Glen Inwood, the official New Zealand spokesperson on the issue of Japanese whaling states:

Greenpeace claims of a victory in the Southern Ocean are false. Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research says the fleet has simply moved to prevent injuries.

According to a New Zealand radio spokesperson, Glenn Inwood says the real trouble will begin when a ship from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society catches up with the whalers.

Read more here: Whalers Admit They Are Running From Sea Shepherd

Elsewhere, in South Korea, more than 50 tons of whale meat was seized on the black market.

While it is illegal to kill whales in Korea, whales that are "accidentally killed" have their meat processed and sold. Unfortunately, there's a huge incentive for people to "accidentally kill" whales because, for example, piked whales are worth up to $37.000 each. It is estimated about 200 whales are killed every year via nets


Illegal whaling is very primitive in Korea utilizing small boat and harpoons. The whales drag the boats around for hours before bleeding to death. The whales are butchered at sea and the meat smuggled ashore.

Read more here: Black Market Whale Meat Seized in South Korea

So .. some good news today! A legal ruling and Japan whalers chased away from the whaling grounds. Hopefully the Australian government will start becoming more vigilante now that there is a legal ruling on this matter. The next few days will tell the tale.

Meanwhile ... :: shameless plug on :: Happy Birthday to me! :: shameless plug off ::




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