Japanese Whaling Ships Ready to Sail

file photo
file photo

Published Jun 30, 2019 7:29 PM by The Maritime Executive

Five Japanese whaling ships are preparing to sail on Japan’s first commercial whaling hunt in more than 30 years.

The nation will resume commercial whaling on July 1 after announcing last year that it was leaving the International Whaling Commission. The hunt will be confined to Japan’s exclusive economic zone. 

Reuters reports that only about 300 people around Japan are directly connected to whaling, and the annual supply of whale – about 5,000 tonnes – amounts to roughly 40-50 grams per Japanese person a year.

The news has met with opposition in Australia. Environmentalist Dr. Bob Brown says  Prime Minister Scott Morrison, representing “all Australians,” should condemn Japan’s move. “Scott Morrison should not squib telling Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Australia’s abhorrence of the whale slaughter in the north Pacific,” Brown said. “With Japanese whale consumption reportedly down from 200,000 tonnes per annum a few decades ago to just 5,000 tonnes last year, Morrison should encourage Abe to put an end to this lingering horror show, just as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser put an end to it in Australia in 1978,” said Brown. 
Scores of whales will be cruelly put to death using grenade-tipped harpoons, says Brown.

This year Japan ended its whaling in Antarctic waters after killing 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean.

Sea Shepherd has been opposing whaling since the 1970s, and CEO of Sea Shepherd Global Alex Cornelissen said, "We see the resumption of Japan's commercial whaling as merely a continuation of the Japanese Government's blatant disregard of international laws and treaties."

Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson said, “We have driven the Japanese whalers from the Southern Hemisphere, and now their illegal slaughter continues in their own waters, second in numbers only to the unlawful killing of whales in Norwegian waters.

“Our opposition to whaling is global and we will continue to pressure Japan and the other outlaw whaling nations until we achieve our ultimate goal – the complete and total global eradication of the merciless madness of whaling by anyone, everywhere for any reason.”