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  • Why Does Japan Insist on Slaughtering Whales?

    I saw many whales during my recent trip to Antarctica. They are awesome creatures—mammals in fact, and smart ones. Although whales were hunted almost to extinction by the USA, England, and many, many other countries in the 19th and early 20th century, all countries except Japan, Norway, and Iceland have ceased commercial whaling activities.

    The 1991 Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty protects whales from being killed in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. Japan, however, illegally whales in those waters under the ruse of doing "scientific research," which is allowed under a loop hole in the treaty. Apparently if you paint "Research" on your ship, you can kill Minke whales. The Japanese have killed over 6,800 under this ruse. After the "research" is over, the Japanese can sell and eat the meat commercially.

    Japan has not produced any scientific data on these 6,800 whales that were murdered in the Southern Ocean sanctuary over the past 18 years. Let's be truthful here—the Japanese like to eat whale meat and they will do anything—illegal or not—to continue this practice.

    Sea Shepherd is the only organization taking any direct action against Japanese whaling ships. Their actions result in saving whales by caused the ships to turn back before reaching their killing quota. Watch the video, donate money, and do whatever you can to get Japan to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean sanctuary.

    Australia is close to the whaling activity but surprisingly they are not taking action. What about Greenpeace? They are a protest group, not a direct action group. They can protest all they want, but the whalers just go on killing in front of them.

    This is serious stuff. Just this week one of Sea Shepherd's ships was rammed and sunk by a Japanese whaler ship when it was just sitting in the water. Fortunately, there was another ship in the area to rescue the crew, because the Japanese whaling ship would not respond to the distress call.

  • Japanese Whalers Ram Sea Shepherd Ship Ady Gil

    This article is from the Sea Shepherd website:

    In an unprovoked attack captured on film, the Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and caused catastrophic damage to the Sea Shepherd trimaran Ady Gil.

    Six crew crewmembers, four from New Zealand, one from Australia, and one from the Netherlands were immediately rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the crew Ady Gil crew were injured.

    The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are very grim.

    According to eyewitness Captain Chuck Swift on the Bob Barker, the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. The Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly started up and deliberately rammed the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. According to Captain Swift, the vessel does not look like it will be saved.

    “The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently,” said Captain Paul Watson. “If they think that our remaining two ships will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating.”

    Captain Paul Watson onboard the Steve Irwin is racing towards the area at 16 knots but still remains some five hundred miles to the north. The Bob Barker has temporarily stopped the pursuit of the Nisshin Maru to rescue the crew of the Ady Gil. The Japanese ships initially refused to acknowledge the May Day distress of the Ady Gil, but ultimately did acknowledge the call. Despite acknowledging the call, they did not offer to assist the Ady Gil or the Bob Barker in any way.

    The incident took place at 64 Degrees and 03 Minutes South and 143 Degrees and 09 Minutes East.

    Until this morning the Japanese were completely unaware of the existence of the Bob Barker. This newest addition to the Sea Shepherd fleet left Mauritius off the coast of Africa on December 18th and was able to advance along the ice edge from the West as the Japanese were busy worrying about the advance of the Steve Irwin from the North.

    “This is a substantial loss for our organization,” said Captain Watson. “The Ady Gil, the former Earthrace, represents a loss of almost two million dollars. However the loss of a single whale is of more importance to us and we will not lose the Ady Gil in vain. This blow simply strengthens our resolve, it does not weaken our spirit.”

    The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is requesting that the Australian government send a naval vessel to restore the peace in the waters of the Australian Antarctic Territory. We have 77 crew from 16 nations on three vessels, six of them were on the Ady Gil. Of these, 21 are Australian citizens: 16 Australians on the Steve Irwin and five on the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the Australian government has a responsibility to protect the lives of Australian citizens working to defend whales from illegal Japanese whaling activities.

    “Australia needs to send a naval vessel down here as soon as possible to protect both the whales and the Australian citizens working to defend these whales,” said Steve Irwin Chief Cook Laura Dakin of Canberra. “This is Australian Antarctic Territorial waters and I see the Japanese whalers doing whatever they want with impunity down here without a single Australian government vessel anywhere to be found. Peter Garrett, I have one question for you: Where the bloody hell are you?

    Visit the Sea Shepherd website to see a complete set of photos that document this sinking. Then donate money to help them with their cause.

  • Stop Japan From Killing Week: Children & Mercury

    Dolphin meat is incredibly high in mercury—toxic levels high. Knowing this, the fishermen shown in The Cove (see yesterday's post) convinced the local school to serve dolphin for the school lunches. The kids have to eat the lunch; they can't bring their own. These fishermen not only don't care about the dolphins but they also don't care about the kids getting dosed with Mercury. They do care about making money. (Photo courtesy of The Cove.)

    You'd think the fishermen would have learned about the dangers of mercury, given Japan's history with Minamata disease (the result of mercury poisoning). That disaster took the Japanese government 12 years to recognize. In the meantime thousands of people were affected.

    Note: Two courageous members of the school board protested serving the dolphin meat out of concern for the children. Since the release of the film, the school stopped serving dolphin.

    See The Japanese Government is Poisoning its Own Citizens.

    What can you do?

    Follow these suggestions from Take Part:

    1. Send a letter to our leaders, urging them to address this issue
    2. Share the petition with your friends, especially those living in Japan
    3. Expose the secret in Taiji by posting the "Secret is Out" widget on your own blog, MySpace or Facebook page
    4. Text DOLPHIN to 44144, and sign the letter straight from your phone
    5. Join the Facebook Cause and share the petition with your friends online
  • Stop Japan From Killing Week: Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless It's Fast

    The Cove documentary (see Stop Japan From Killing: Motivation) has one interview in it where an official claims that dolphins are slaughtered humanely, meaning quickly by severing the spine. The footage in the documentary seems to indicate otherwise. My question: Can there be humane killing? So it's okay to kill if you are quick, but not if you are slow?

    A brutal massacre that goes on from October through April is simply not humane. They slit the throats and harpoon bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, pilot whales, false killer whales, spotted dolphins, and Risso's dolphins. Why? Tradition. A tradition the Japanese claim to be proud of. Doesn't seem like anything to be proud of.

    This Keep Out Danger sign was put up to keep prying eyes from see the killing cove in Japan. Photo courtesy of The Cove.

    What can you do? Follow these suggestions from Save the Dolphins:

    1. Write the Japanese Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda, and tell him you will not purchase any Japanese products or visit Japan until they stop killing and capturing dolphins and whales or "Click Here to compose and send your message" directly to the Japanese Prime minister Yasuo Fukuda.

    2. Do not participate in any captive swim-with dolphin programs.

    3. Do not support or visit any marine park, zoo, or amusement park that has captive dolphins and whales.

    Get the The Cove Secret is Out. widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)

  • Stop Japan From Killing Week: Don't Swim With Dolphins

    One of the incentives for the Japanese slaughter of dolphins is that some of the dolphins they catch can be sold for as much as $100,000 to "Swim With Dolphins" attractions.

    Read the World Society for the Protection of Animals excellent article "What's Wrong With Swimming WIth Dolphins?"

    Here's one excerpt from that article:

    "Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the SWTD industry is the misconception it perpetuates among the general public. SWTD programs present themselves as "educational" and "eco-friendly". They market themselves to people who love dolphins, care about conservation and are looking for a tangible way to express this interest. What SWTD participants don't realize is that by patronizing these programs, they are not only contributing to this expanding, profit-driven industry, but they are ensuring that dolphins will continue to be captured from the wild and suffer in captivity."

    Make no mistake . . . swim with dolphin programs are about making money. A single dolphin can bring in millions a year; it's an industry worth over a billion dollars. You might be thinking that not every dolphin comes from Japan and is part of the slaughter machine.

    What about dolphins born in captivity?

    The Cove website provides a great answer to this question:

    "It is the same question slave owners asked about children born into slavery."

  • Stop Japan From Killing Week: "It is a bloodbath"

    "It is a bloodbath, cruel and barbaric. Each year, the idyllic and peaceful setting of the village of Taiji in southern Japan is shattered by almost unspeakable cruelty as indreible pain and ultimate death is inflicted on defenseless dolphins." Paul Watson, president and founder, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

    What can you do?

    Follow these suggestions from Sea Shepherd and then visit their website for more suggestions and information:

    In order to spread the news about what is happening in Japan, we need to get media coverage from your local media (TV, NEWSPAPERS AND RADIO):
    • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers
    • Call TV and radio stations to ask them to cover this important news
    • Refer your local broadcast and cable TV stations to Sea Shepherd to get a free copy of our Susan Sarandon "Save the Dolphins" Public Service Announcement (PSA)
    • You can offer the Sea Shepherd telephone number 360-370-5650, so the media can contact us for interviews with Sea Shepherd president and founder, Captain Paul Watson.