Dolphins and Whales in Trouble

JAPAN MUST BE STOPPED

JAPAN WHALING FLEET DEPARTS FOR SANCTUARY WITH NEW SHIP

Complete with its first new dedicated whale killer ship in 26 years, Japan’s
whaling fleet has set sail for waters around Antarctica.  The ships left on
from their southwestern home port of Shimonoseki.
The new $US14 (£8.5) million Yushin Maru, harpoon mounted on it’s bow, is part
of a fleet of five sent to the Southern Ocean for the 12th year in a row;
despite calls by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for Japan to stop
its whaling there.  At the ship’s launch in Tokyo on 15 October, its
manufacturer Kyodo Senpaku, contractor to the Government of Japan, stated that
the new ship is viewed as “a symbol of restarting of commercial whaling”.
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Japan is defying international opinion by killing whales in recognised whale
sanctuary under the guise of ‘research’.  In April, the fleet returned with
438 minke whales, bringing the total caught in the name of science to 3767
since the Southern Ocean was declared a sanctuary by the IWC in 1994.  In
addition, Japan had caught 398 minkes in the North Pacific over the past five
years.
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The meat from the whales killed in the Antarctic Sanctuary will be sold in
Japan as part of a $US50 million a year whale-meat market in the country.
Some of the meat is used for school lunches to foster the taste for whale meat
among young children, in the hope they will become paying consumers later.

JAPANESE WHALERS STILL USING OUTLAWED ‘COLD’ HARPOON

“Japan has alternative secondary whale killing methods…. One is second
harpoon without penthrite grenade and the other is electric lance.” (Ishikawa)
…the crew prepared to use one of the two available secondary killing
methods. The first of these was to shoot a second (cold) harpoon into the
whale.” (Wallĝe)

HAS JAPAN HARPOONED ITSELF IN THE FOOT?

The use of non-explosive ‘cold’ harpoons for minke whaling was banned by the
International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1981 on the grounds that it is
inhumane.

Now it is revealed that Japanese whalers, during commercial minke whale hunts
(conducted under the guise of “scientific” whaling) in the Antarctic
‘Sanctuary’ and the western North Pacific, are using the cold harpoon
extensively as a secondary killing method.

This practice is the equivalent to people working in an abattoir chasing a cow
around a field sticking spears in its back until it dies!!

A leading Norwegian whaling scientist has inferred that the cold harpoon is
used in
preference to the ‘electric lance’ secondary killing method.

During recent Japanese minke whale hunts, around a quarter (26%) of whales
caught were subjected to one or more cold harpoons following an unsuccessful
first strike by penthrite explosive grenade harpoon.  Of the minke whales
struck with the cold harpoon, about half (53%) remained alive after one or
more shots and were then subjected to electrocution with electric lance
apparatus.

The IWC member governments seem to have been unaware of the ongoing use of
cold harpoons by Japanese whalers; thus the Government of Japan appears to
have deliberately kept the use of cold harpoons a secret from the IWC.

The inhumane cold harpoon and electric lance secondary killing methods are
used instead of a second or third explosive penthrite grenade harpoon for
economic reasons – they destroy less of the commercially valuable flesh on the
small minke whale.

The Government of Japan (GoJ) argues that because of its technical objection
lodged against the IWC decision to ban the cold harpoon for commercial killing
of minke whales, Japanese whalers claim to have no obligation to adhere to the
ban; and IWC regulations – including the ban – do not apply to “scientific”
research whaling anyway.

By blatantly ignoring the cold harpoon ban, the GoJ and the Japanese whaling
industry are imposing their ethical values on a majority of the international
community: cultural imperialism from a government and industry which regularly
accuse all who oppose commercial whaling of cultural imperialism.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

WRITE/ PHONE/ FAX NOW TO EVERY JAPANESE INTEREST YOU CAN FIND: JAPANESE
COMPANIES, EMBASSIES, MISSIONS ETC.: AND ALL JAPANESE RULING AUTHORITIES,
TELLING THEM THEY MUST WITHDRAW THEIR FLEET.  A GOOD PLACE TO START FOR THESE
CONTACTS:

TELL THE JAPANESE COMPANIES YOU WILL NOT BUY THEIR GOODS UNTIL THEIR WHALERS
>STOP SLAUGHTERING WHALES.
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>WRITE ALSO TO YOUR COUNTRY’S IWC COMMISSIONER ASKING HIM WHY NOTHING HAS BEEN
>DONE TO STOP THESE ON-GOING ATROCITIES.  ASK HIM TO PROTEST IMMEDIATELY TO
>JAPAN AND DEMAND HE TABLES A MOTION AT THE 51th IWC MEETING (MAY 1999)
>CONDEMNING JAPAN’S USE OF THE ‘COLD’ HARPOON AND INSISTING THEY RESPECT THE
>ANTARCTIC SANCTUARY.