Oceans Run Red

Table of Contents

Whaling

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The world’s oceans are still opened to a bloody and cruel slaughter that should have been consigned to history. A slaughter that saw many whale species brought to the brink of extinction last century.
Both commercial whaling and international trade in whale products are currently banned but Japan, Norway and Iceland together kill over 2000 whales each year. All 3 countries are exploiting loopholes in the Whaling Convention in order to kill nearly 2000 whales each year in spite of the IWC's moratorium on whaling. Norway hunts whales under its objection to the moratorium and Japan continues to kill large numbers of whales each year under the guise of scientific research also Iceland began a “scientific whaling” program in 2006.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the world's authoritative body on whaling. Japan, Norway and Iceland are not the only countries voting in favour of whaling at the IWC meeting. For years now, the Japanese government has been using diplomatic pressure and a vote buying program to stack the IWC with pro-whaling allies, and threatening to leave the organization if they don't get their way.

Total whales killed since the moratorium went into effect: 28,951 in 2006 (source: WWF)

Japan has killed 7,656 minke whales in the Antarctic for “scientific purposes” since the moratorium in 1986. A total of 840 whales were killed by Japan under special permit during the 31 years before the moratorium. (info from IWC 58 Workshop document on Fin Whales WKM-AWI8 submitted by the Government of New Zealand)
Japan took a total of 1,243 whales in 2005/06 season, a much higher figure than previous years (1,078 minke, 50 Brydes, 5 sperm, 100 sei whales and 10 fin whales.) (info from IWC website) The 2005/06 season was the first time Japan had taken fin whales, an endangered species.

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Harpoons using the same explosive grenade heads employed fifty years ago are being used right now by Japanese whalers to slaughter whales illegally.
Often, the first blast isn’t enough to kill the poor whale. Japanese whaling ships were recently filmed hoisting live whales up the side of their huge industrial ships by the tail, leaving the whale’s blow hole underwater. The helpless whale can only thrash against the side of the ship, desperate for air, until it slowly drowns. (info from IWAF site)
Perhaps even more shocking, this unsanctioned killing is happening in the protected waters of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean Marine Sanctuary, blatantly defying international law.

Norway broke the moratorium in 1993 and resumed commercial whaling. Since then they have taken over 6,334 minke whales under objection. (info from IWC website)
Norway took 639 whales in 2005 season, and the Norwegian Government set a quota of 1052 for 2006, and the same number for 2007. (info from Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Website)

Look at these figures:

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Last year the whaling faction showed they could muster a narrow majority at the IWC. This year, the IWC will meet in Anchorage, USA. The Annual Commission Meeting will take place from Monday 28 to Thursday 31 May.

Costa Rica does not allow whaling in its waters and has been vocal about the need to protect whales in international conferences and meetings including CITES. Costa Rica has been a member of the IWC since 1981, but its attendance lapsed in recent years when it failed to pay its annual dues. Costa Rica is now paying off its arrears and has resumed the right to vote.

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WDCS, has made the discovery that the whaling industry in Iceland is inextricably linked to parts of its fishing industry.
WDCS is now calling on supermarkets and suppliers across the UK to verify that they do not buy fish from companies in Iceland linked to whaling - and is urging shoppers to seek a pledge from their supermarket to this end. WDCS has written to leading supermarkets and fish suppliers in the UK, highlighting the links between Iceland’s whaling and fishing industries and seeking guarantees that they do not purchase fish sourced by companies in Iceland that are connected in any way, whether directly or indirectly, to whaling.
WDCS’s Chief Executive, Chris Butler Stroud said “We’re sure that most people would be horrified if they knew they could be putting money into the pockets of whalers. We’re seeking assurance from supermarkets and suppliers that this is not the case and calling on them to reassure their customers that their fish doesn’t have the blood of whales on it.”
The Icelandic Government has claimed that the country’s whaling and fishing industries are separate. However WDCS has unravelled the links in a complicated family tree of companies. Through shareholdings and shared Directors, Hvalur hf, owner of Iceland’s fin whaling fleet has significant control of Grandi, a company with one of the largest shares of Iceland’s fishing quotas, that exports at least 20% of its fish to the UK. Grandi recently provided storage services for the fin whales killed by Hvalur. (http://www.stopbloodywhaling.org)

At the last IWC meeting, Japan, Norway, and
Iceland announced new self-allocated quotas totaling more than 3,000
whales including endangered species for the upcoming seasons.

Whale & Dolphin Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

Whaling in the Faroe Islands has been practised since at least the tenth century. It is regulated by Faroese authorities and approved by the International Whaling Commission. Around 950 Long-finned Pilot Whales Globicephala melaena are killed annually, mainly during the summer. Occasionally, other species are hunted as well, such as the Northern Bottlenose Whale and Atlantic White-sided Dolphin. The hunts, called "grindadráp" in Faroese, are non-commercial and are organised on a community level; anyone can participate.
Islanders in motorboats first drive the whales into a bay. The chase may be lengthy. The exhausted, terrified and confused whales are eventually driven into the shallows. Here the bloodbath begins. The islanders repeatedly hammer 2.2 kg metal gaffs into the living flesh of each whale until the hooks hold. A 15 cm knife is then used to slash through the blubber and flesh to the spinal column. Next the main blood vessels are severed. The blood-stained bay is soon filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.
The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctrinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_the_Faroe_Islands


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Help stop illegal Iceland's whaling :

Let’s SHUT DOWN commercial whaling

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This year whaling news

16.02.2011 Japan formally abandons whale hunt - recalls whaling fleet!

It's Official…

the Japanese whaling fleet has called it quits in the Southern Ocean, at least for this season. And if they return next season, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be ready to resume their efforts to obstruct and disable illegal Japanese whaling operations.

“The Nisshin Maru made a significant course change immediately after the Japanese government made it official that the whaling fleet has been recalled,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen from the Bob Barker. “She looks like she’s going home!”

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker has been tailing the Japanese Nisshin Maru factory ship since February 9th making it impossible for the whalers to continue their illegal whaling operations.

“I have a crew of 88 very happy people from 23 different nations including Japan and they are absolutely thrilled that the whalers are heading home and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is now indeed a real sanctuary,” said Captain Paul Watson.

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-110217-1.html

27.06.2010 IWC meeting: Greenland's last push for nine humpbacks

WDCS:
"Firstly we are pleased to report that the majority of the world's whales have been spared. The ban on commercial whaling stays. But it seems that the unnecessary slaughter of 27 humpback whales may have been the price for this victory.

After years of hard work to fight a proposal which would have led to the lifting of the ban on commercial whaling, WDCS is pleased and relieved that the so-called ‘deal’ has been rejected at this years’ IWC annual meeting. Without YOUR support this would not have been possible.

But, in some shameful last-minute “whale-trading” the IWC agreed a quota of nine humpback whales to be hunted each year in Greenland until 2012 – a total of 27 whales. Since 2007, WDCS has led a coalition of NGOs to fight Greenland’s proposal for 100 humpbacks over ten years and we did everything possible to prevent any humpback quota being adopted at this meeting.

This is incredibly sad news. However, with your support, e-protests and the evidence from WDCS undercover investigators Greenland was forced to pay a heavy price for these nine humpbacks, having to reduce its annual minke whale quota by 22 whales and its fin whale quota by nine whales. This represents 93 fin and minke lives saved over that period. Whilst nothing can make up for the deaths of these nine humpbacks, without you and WDCS this proposal would have gone through four years ago and many more whales would still be condemned to become meals for tourists in Greenland.

We have provided a more detailed update here

The WDCS team at the IWC and around the world are proud and grateful to all of you and the support you have given us, via protests, morally and with your donations to make this work possible.

We shall continue to fight for the whales. But it’s only possible with your support. We still need funds for this fight, so if you can spare it, please make a donation (in your chosen currency) if you can.

WDCS cannot do this without you. Together, we shall continue to fight for all whales and dolphins, and eventually we shall bring an end to all these abuses within the IWC.

Many thanks,

Chris Butler-Stroud Signature

Chris Butler-Stroud
WDCS Chief Executive

25.06.2010 The IWC meeting in Marocco is finally OVER!

a message from Marocco - thanks to Ericka (CATCA)
Here is what happened today:

After a long never ending debate, this is the amendment of the Proposal presented by Denmark on behalf of Greenland:

In the IWC62 in Agadir, Morocco, Denmark and Greenland further agreed to voluntarily reduce the fin whales catch limits from West Greenland, from 16 to 10 for each of the years: 2010, 2011, 2012.

Finally, after very, very long statements from the Member Countries, the third time that the Chairman requested to have a Concensus on accepting the ammended Proposal, it was accepted.

We the pro-conservation NGO's and Member Countries are not happy with the new Greenland quotas, but originally Greenland wanted more whales.

About the Moratorium remaining intact that is very good indeed. That was our biggest fear.

For sure, things could have been much worse at this IWC62.

Another year and another IWC is gone with the wind.
Let's see what happens in the next one.

24.06.2010 Polish ignorancy surprises!!!!

On 23.06.2010 Polish Environment Ministry published their explanation on their web; they didn't send anybody to Agadir because…. they had no money!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it !!!! Poland already paid for its membership and according to ngos a plane, 3star hotel and other expenses for 1 person would cost 1314 EUR!! Much more Poland spent already on workshops prior to the meeting.
The explanation is ridiculous and we don't take it seriously. How any government can say that there is no money for its duties???

"The Polish representative (i.e. Ministry of the Environment) did not
take part in this Annual Meeting of the International of Whaling
Commission. That is due to the Ministerial budgetary shortages being the
reason which makes impossible financing Polish representative's
participation to this relevant event.

When on 13 March 2009, after years of its efforts pursued to this end,
Poland finally acceded the International Convention for the Regulation
of Whaling it made a meaningful political gesture, since through
ratifying the Convention Poland provided clear signal that it considers
seriously the whaling regulation issues and that it has also taken a
responsibility for regulating the global whaling market. Unfortunately,
its full participation in this Annual Meeting of the IWC is not possible
because of unavoidable budgetary cuts. Of course, this does not preclude
Poland's involvement in the Convention activities in the years to come.

Poland has so far actively participated to the IWC's activities in the
framework of the European Union. Since June 2009, the Polish Ministry of
the Environment was involved in the problem still non-resolved during
the last year 61st Annual Meting of the IWC, namely in the Greenland's
request for additional catches of 10 humpback whales. Having attended a
number of the EU meetings, in March 2010, Polish delegation took part to
the international, intersessional IWC meeting held in Florida.
Unfortunately, give the lack of quorum no binding decision could taken
there during that meeting.

The essence of this year Annual Meeting consists in discussion of the
future of the Convention while based upon the draft proposal made by
the /Chair’s Support Group/ and submitted for debates by H.E. Ambassador
Mr. Cristian Maquieira, Chair of the IWC. Poland took part in
discussions on this draft that were held at the EU forum.

Having acceded the Convention, Poland participated to the relevant
activities there under and traced the most important events thereof. The
sole fact of the absence of the Polish representative at the Morocco
Annual Meeting does not as such exclude Poland's further devotion to the
Convention activities in the future years. Poland will also make its
best efforts for the sake of good preparatory arrangements under the
Convention within the UE coordination, as necessary."

22.06.2010 Urgue Poland to attend IWC meeting!!!

To our dismay, we just got confirmation that Poland didn't send a Commisioner this year to the IWC62 as they intended to do up to few days ago. Para nuestro horror, acabamos de tener confirmacion de que Polonia no va a enviar a ningun delegado al IWC62 como tenian intencion de hacer hasta hace unos pocos dias.

I need your help (as I did last year too), for you to write a brief e-mail to the e-mails below, asking them why there is not a Commissioner or anybody from Poland here when very important decisions are been taken. Necesito tu ayuda (como la necesite el anio pasado tambien), para que me hagas el favorsote de escribir unnn breve correo electronico a los e-mails abajo preguntandoles porque no hay un Comisionado y ningun delegado de Polonia aqui en Agadir cuando decisiones tan importantes se estan llevando a cabo.

This is a crucial meeting for the future of IWC and the whales conservation, so how does Poland intends to coordinate the EU work on this issue during the next year presidency if nobody from Poland is present at this important meeting? Esta es una junta crucial para el futuro de la CIB y de la conservacion de las ballenas, entonces como Polonia tiene la intencion de coordinar el trabajo enn este asunto de la CIB en la Union Europea el proximo anio cuando nadie de Polonia esta presente en esta junta tan importante?

The e-mails are: Los correos electronicos son:

The Department of Nature Conservation in the Ministery lp.vog.som|ydoryzrP.ynorhcO.tnematrapeD#lp.vog.som|ydoryzrP.ynorhcO.tnematrapeD

The Political Gabinet of the Minister of Environment
lp.vog.som|artsiniM.ynzcytiloP.tenibaG#lp.vog.som|artsiniM.ynzcytiloP.tenibaG

Office of the Minister of Environment: lp.vog.som|artsiniM.oruiB#lp.vog.som|artsiniM.oruiB

Press spokesperson in the Ministery of Environment: lp.vog.som|ywosarp.kinzcezr#lp.vog.som|ywosarp.kinzcezr

Thank you very much! Muchas gracias!

Please send me any replies you receive, OK?/ Favor de enviarme copia de las respuestas que recibas

Ericka
CATCA (CMEPS)

22.06.2010 17 nations barred from whaling vote

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/australian-news/7439934/17-nations-barred-from-whaling-vote/
Seventeen mostly pro-whaling nations have had their voting rights suspended at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Morocco, in what could be a blow to Japan's hopes of resuming commercial whaling.

Delegates at the Agadir meeting are currently engaged in secret talks in a bid to break the deadlock over proposals to allow Japan to resume a limited commercial whale hunt in exchange for a reduction in its so-called scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean.

This morning meeting deputy chairman Anthony Liverpool said about one-fifth of the meeting's 88 member states would not be allowed to vote.

The countries include Palau, the Marshall Islands, Ghana and Gambia and are mostly drawn from the pro-whaling bloc which had been expected to back Japan's move.

They have been suspended for reasons including failing to pay their annual fees.

Solomon Islands, meanwhile, failed to show up at the meeting.

With so many nations unable to vote, some are hopeful that the controversial plan to overturn a 24-year ban on commercial whaling will not get the numbers to pass.

Under the draft proposal, Japan would be allowed to catch 120 whales a year in its coastal waters.

The package has split the anti-whaling bloc, with Australia now at odds with some of its former allies.

The proposal needs a three-quarters majority vote to pass.

Europe could have the deciding vote, with some in the EU supporting a deal.

NZ reaction

Unlike Australia, New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully says he is prepared to negotiate a deal on limited commercial whaling, provided that the whales in the Southern Ocean are spared.

"The bottom line is that we want to give Japan some space to cease the whaling practices that we've seen over recent summers and find a way to move out of the Southern Ocean," he said.

"We've tried to give them some space to work their way through this and to come to a dignified conclusion.

"Australia's made it clear that it wants to go to the International Court of Justice and has filed. We've said from the beginning we're open to that course if this process doesn't deliver for us here."

Mr McCully says relations with Australia have remained tight throughout the conference.

"I've kept in touch with Stephen Smith, my counterpart throughout, and I've got to say that that's a very close and harmonious relationship," he said.

But he says he is not optimistic there will be a positive agreement as members have vastly different opinions.

"The fact that the chair has had to suspend the plenary session and send people away to have negotiations in groups tells you that we have serious and potentially intractable differences between the parties," he said.

"The odds have always been much more strongly on a breakdown rather than a breakthrough here."

The meeting, held behind closed doors over the next two days, is the most controversial in years.
As well as trying to negotiate a way forward for the deadlocked organisation, the IWC is also under pressure to investigate allegations its deputy chair had his hotel bill paid for by Japan and that delegates are being offered prostitutes in return for their vote.

15.03.2010 Japan loses reason for scientific whaling

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/03/15/whaling-research-hunt-japan.html?ref=rss
Japan whale cull not necessary: researchers Last Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010 | 7:11 AM ET The Associated Press

Whale researchers returned from Antarctic waters Monday after a six-week expedition they say proves Japan's annual kill of whales for scientific purposes is unnecessary.

During the voyage, Australian, French and New Zealand scientists used nonlethal techniques to study whales. It was a challenge to Japan's scientific program, which kills up to 1,000 of the mammals a year — an allowed exception to the International Whaling Commission's 1986 ban on commercial whaling.

Critics say the program is a front for commercial whaling, with the whale meat sold for consumption in Japan.

The expedition that ended Monday was the first in a five-year research program in Antarctica that was proposed by the Australian government and agreed to by the IWC.

The scientists' research focused on whale numbers, what they eat, how they move between food patches and how they travel to and from their breeding grounds in the central Pacific.

"All of those questions can be and are being answered using nonlethal techniques," expedition leader Nick Gales told reporters Monday.

While Gales acknowledged that Japan does some "marvelous" nonlethal whale research, he said "the component of their work that results in the killing of the whales" is not the type of science the IWC requires.

Toshinori Uoya, a Japanese Fisheries Agency official in charge of whaling issues, told The Associated Press in Tokyo there are some data "that we can obtain only through lethal approach," including age, stomach contents and fertility rate.

He said Japan is open to any new nonlethal methods if they are proven effective.

Peter Garrett, Australia's environment minister, said in a statement that the research showed "effective and achievable ways to collect a whole range of important data without the need to kill these mammals."

The scientists counted mainly humpback whales, taking photos and biopsy samples from 60 of them, and attaching satellite tracking devices to about 30 of the animals to study their feeding and travel patterns.

The researchers found fairly strong recovery in some populations of humpback whales, but Gales said blue whale numbers are down around two per cent from what they once were in Antarctic waters after being "enormously heavily exploited during the industrial whaling era."

The group saw quite a few Antarctic minke whales along the ice edge, Gales said, but the scientists were unable to study them because of difficult ice and weather conditions.

Minke whales make up the bulk of Japan's annual hunt in Antarctic waters.

Other member countries of the 13-nation Southern Ocean Research Partnership will participate in future trips, Gales said.

Results of the voyage will be reported to the IWC at its annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco, in June.

05.03.2010 WDCS: Humpbacks Get Stay Of Execution - But For How Long?

http://www.wdcs.org/story_details.php?select=547
Dark clouds loom over the Future of the IWC
St.Petersburg, USA, 4th of March 2010: Against a background of furious debate, procedural ‘sleight of hand’ and scientific uncertainty, humpback whales have been granted a reprieve from a renewed hunt.

But this stay of execution may only last a few weeks. The vote on a proposal by Denmark, on behalf of Greenland, to hunt 10 humpback whales a year for aboriginal subsistence use was deferred only because insufficient countries showed up at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. With no quorum, no vote could be taken.

With many countries opposed to the proposal, but others, such as the USA and Sweden, strongly supporting Denmark’s proposal, the IWC has almost thrown out the rule book to try and get this proposal adopted. We now expect the vote to take place at the 62nd annual meeting of the IWC in Morocco, in June this year.

“While we are pleased that the humpbacks have been given a few weeks of breathing space, we maintain that countries should not be afraid to reject this flawed proposal on its merits. Instead, the IWC is clearly paralyzed by the fear that controversy over Greenland’s proposal will upset the possibility of securing a ‘deal’ on commercial whaling. But still the chances for humpbacks remain slim” says Nicolas Entrup, spokesperson of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) at the Meeting in Florida.

Prior to the Intersessional meeting a Small Working Group of the IWC met to develop a Package on the Future of the IWC that would, if adopted, allow commercial whaling to resume and ’lock in’ Greenland’s quotas for 10 years.

“An EU split over the Danish proposal risks shattering the credibility of the EU. This in turn threatens the future of whole Whaling Commission. The European Union, represented by 25 out of its 27 countries at the IWC needs to quickly get its act together. It needs to agree to a transparent and democratic process to engage proactively in a way that truly represents the majority view of all European citizens who have repeatedly, in survey after survey, expressed their fundamental position of not wishing to see a resumption of commercial whaling”.

The IWC now moves on to discuss the potential of a resumption of commercial whaling in June, in Morocco, but “how can civil society maintain any faith in the ‘Future of the IWC’ process when we have seen such abuse of process to try and force through this humpback proposal’” says the WDCS spokesperson.

For further information, please contact Nicolas Entrup, WDCS, T. + 49 171 1423 117 at the IWC Meeting in St.Petersburg, Florida, USA. E-Mail. gro.scdw|purtne.salociN#gro.scdw|purtne.salociN

Background Information can be found at: www.wdcs.org

03.03.2010 IWC discussing comercial whaling

Members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meet this week, from Tuesday onwards, in St.Petersburg, Florida, to discuss a proposal that sets out the conditions to make commercial whaling legal again.
The full proposal will be considered at its annual Meeting in June 2010.

On the 4th and 5th of March the IWC will decide on another proposal by Denmark as to whether humpback whales are added to the list of species hunted in the waters off Greenland.

Is the European Union selling out on Humpback whales?
The credibility of the International Whaling Commission is undermined by Greenlands attempts to increase whale hunt quota. A Member of the European Union, Denmark, has been keeping the EU hostage for the last three years, trapping the EU in never-ending internal negotiations about this flawed proposal. A failure to agree a consensus position (total agreement by all EU members of the IWC) means that Denmark can force the EU to abstain on its own demand at the IWC for more whales for Greenland.

Conservation led countries can no longer exercise their rights to vote for conservation measures or against whaling proposals, because Denmark can use the requirements of the internal EU negotiation rules to tie the EU up in knots.

You can read about the issue of Greenlands proposal here in the joint WDCS/WSPA report revealing the failings in Greenland Whaling.

We have 72 hours to stop whaling - we need your urgent action now!
http://www.wdcs.org.au/story_details.php?select=91

22.02.2010 IWC wants Commercial Whaling BACK

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2010/2010-02-22-01.html
CAMBRIDGE, UK, February 22, 2010 (ENS) - A working group of the International Whaling Commission today released a draft proposal that would allow the return of commercial whaling. An IWC moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986.

The compromise is aimed at unblocking the long-stalled negotiation process between IWC member countries opposed to commercial whaling and those that want to kill whales.

The draft Consensus Decision by the Small Working Group on the Future of IWC would allow only the countries that currently take whales under the "research" provisions of the treaty to hunt them under the proposed management regime. Those countries are Japan, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, which together kill some 1,500 whales a year. Indigenous subsistence whaling also would be allowed to continue.

The draft proposal would bring whaling by all 88 member countries under the control of the IWC. Currently, the IWC has no control over whaling under objection/reservation to the treaty or whaling under special permit, the so-called "research whaling."

The proposal establishes caps of takes that are "within sustainable levels" for a 10 year period, although most of those quotas are not specified in the draft document but are marked "TBD," to be decided. The draft comments that catches would be reduced "significantly" from current levels.

Currently, Japan has a six-vessel whaling fleet in Antarctic waters as part of its scientific whaling program. It targets up to 900 minke whales, which are not an endangered species, plus 50 endangered fin whales.

In 2009, Japan took 679 minke whales and one fin whale for a five-month effort in the Southern Ocean, spending much time and effort in clashes with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Japan's goal had been to kill up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.

The IWC proposal states that a fundamental component of the Consensus Decision is that the commission will "focus on the recovery of depleted whale stocks and take actions on key issues, including bycatch, climate change and other environmental threats."

But environmental groups are outraged by the proposal.

From its office in Amsterdam today, Greenpeace International called for the proposal by to be rejected out of hand, describing it as a dangerous throwback to the 20th century when whales where hunted to near extinction.

"The proposal rewards Japan for decades of reprehensible behavior at the International Whaling Commission and in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary," said John Frizell, Head of the Greenpeace Whales Campaign.

"We are at a critical junction for both whaling and ocean conservation," said Frizell. "A return to commercial whaling would not only be a disaster for whales but will send shock waves through international ocean conservation efforts, making it vastly more difficult to protect other rapidly-declining species such as tuna and sharks."

From its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland today, WWF-International said the new draft compromise on whaling "set a dangerous precedent that the international community must reject."

WWF said that while the compromise "contains many positive elements for whale conservation that would help bring the IWC into the 21st Century," the compromise could legitimize whaling by Japan in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

"If there is one single place in the world where whales should be fully protected, it is the Southern Ocean," said Wendy Elliott, species manager at WWF-International. "What we need is to eliminate all whaling in the Southern Ocean, including Japanese commercial whaling thinly disguised as 'scientific research.'"

"But what we have now is a deal which could make it even easier for Japan to continue taking whales in this ecologically unique place," Elliott said.

The IWC supposedly provides special protection to a critical whale feeding area, the Southern Ocean, surrounding the continent of Antarctica, which the IWC established as a 50 million square kilometer whale sanctuary in 1994. "This extra layer of protection signifies the importance of this area as the primary feeding habitat of many of the Southern Hemisphere�s whale populations," Elliott said.

The proposal sets a process in motion that could endorse quotas which have not yet had a full and proper scientific review. "It is difficult to see how determining quotas through politics rather than science can be considered progress," said Elliott.

The draft Consensus Decision will be discussed by a group of IWC countries at a meeting in March, with the intention that it will be adopted by the IWC at its next full meeting in Agadir, Morocco in June.

22.06.2009 Whaling Commission Countries Face Critical Choice—Science and Conservation or Sanctioned Slaughter

Madeira, Portugal Governments from more than 80 countries opened the 61st annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Madeira today (Mon), following a year of closed-door discussions which have failed to secure agreement from Japan, Iceland and Norway to respect the body’s scientific procedures and commercial whaling ban.
Conservation-minded delegates to the week-long meeting said much is at stake for whales and decades of international efforts to protect them.
Patrick Ramage, whale programme director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said: “Our planet’s great whales face more threats today than at any time in history. It’s time to get rid of commercial whaling, not the whaling ban.”
An IWC moratorium on commercial whaling came into effect in 1986. Since that time, the government of Japan has killed some 12,000 whales, abusing a provision in the convention which permits whaling for scientific research purposes.
A major focus of this week’s meeting is a proposed deal to sanction unsustainable coastal whaling by Japan in exchange for a reduction in its ongoing “scientific” whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Such a deal would violate the moratorium and established scientific procedures, legitimise Japan’s ongoing “scientific” whaling and ignore decades of work by the IWC Scientific Committee.
“Countries that support sound science and whale conservation should reject this deal and instead take action inside and outside the IWC to make the commercial whaling moratorium effective,” Ramage added. “The future of the IWC is conservation science, not commercial slaughter.”
A new IFAW report to be released during the Madeira meeting documents the continuing dramatic growth and expanding economic contribution of whale watching worldwide.

http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_kingdom/media_center/press_releases/6_22_2009_55319.php

19.06.2009 Denmark requests a quota of 50 Humpback whales for ‘subsistence whaling’

Denmark has requested a quota for Greenland to kill 50 humpback whales off the coast of West Greenland under the banner of "aboriginal subsistence whaling". It claims more whale meat is needed to meet the nutritional needs of the people of Greenland, a Home Rule territory of the Danish Kingdom. WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, exposes the request as unsubstantiated and dangerous.

4000 small whales and dolphins also killed every year
Greenland does not make a convincing case that its native communities need more whale meat than their current quota provides. Over the past decade, they have never taken all the available whales in their "subsistence" quota, and significant quantities of meat are wasted, stockpiled or sold commercially in supermarkets - available even to tourists. This defies the non-commercial character of the "subsistence" hunt. In addition around 4000 small whales and porpoise are killed in Greenland every year.

"The request by Denmark to expand whaling in Greenland is not about "subsistence needs" but about condoning the commercialisation of whaling in Arctic regions. Denmark is simply not telling the whole truth" says Nicolas Entrup, spokesperson of WDCS on-site in Madeira.

Greenland is able to exploit loopholes and ambiguities in the IWC regulations because there are no binding international rules in place to regulate "subsistence hunting". Until that reform is complete, Greenland will be able to continue to play politics at the IWC" Entrup continues, "WDCS does not oppose subsistence whaling by native peoples, including in Greenland, whom the IWC has identified as being reliant on whales for legitimate nutritional subsistence. But Greenland's request for 10 humpback whales a year would provide whale meat way beyond their needs".

The votes by Member States of the European Union, which will vote as a block, will be decisive in whether or not the first humpback whales in decades will be killed legally in European waters. Nicolas Entrup of WDCS reports from the conference: "Intensive lobbying by Denmark, supported by Sweden, is currently trying to generate a European consensus in favour of Greenland's proposal. WDCS urges Member States and the Czech presidency not to put at stake the EU's reputation for commitment to the conservation of the world's whales."

18.06.2009 Iceland Urged to Call of Slaughter of Endangered Whales

As the first of Iceland’s whaling ships reportedly heads to sea today to train its harpoons on 150 endangered fin whales, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is urging the Icelandic government to call off this cruel and needless slaughter now.
IFAW opposes whaling because it is unacceptably cruel – there is no humane way to kill a whale and research has shown that whales shot with explosive harpoons can take more than half an hour to die. Targeting an endangered species also raises serious conservation concerns as it pushes the threatened fin whales closer to extinction.
Opinion polling and independent economic research in Iceland has revealed little or no appetite for whale meat, while responsible whale watching, by contrast, is financially lucrative and one of Iceland’s biggest tourist draws.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “At a time when Iceland is struggling to rebuild its economy, it is in the country’s own interests more than ever before not to embark on activities which could damage Iceland’s international reputation and its business interests.
“There is simply no valid argument in favour of whaling – it is cruel, unnecessary and unsustainable. In Iceland’s case it is also illogical to pursue a policy for which there is little market. The most positive step which would benefit Icelanders and whales would be for the Icelandic government to end whaling now and work instead to protect its valuable whale watching industry.
“Whale watching generates almost £5m a year for coastal communities in Iceland - it offers a humane, sustainable and profitable alternative to whaling.”
The current whaling quotas were set earlier this year by the outgoing Fisheries and Agriculture Minister, Einar K Gudfinnsson. He granted commercial whaling quotas of up to 150 endangered fin whales and 100 minke whales a year for the next five years. Iceland’s new Fisheries Minister, Steingrimur J Sigfusson, later announced these catch allowances would remain for one year, despite only a limited domestic market for minke whales and no domestic market for fin whales. In recent days the catch limit for minke whales has been increased to 200.
The slaughter of minke whales began last month, at which time representatives from IFAW and other animal welfare organisations held a protest outside the Icelandic Embassy in London and met with the Icelandic Ambassador to express their concerns.

http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_kingdom/media_center/press_releases/6_22_2009_55318.php

27.05.2009 Iceland's whaling season began
medium.jpg

Despite overwhelming public opposition, whalers in Iceland have once again started killing whales this week. Before it's over, they plan to harpoon 100 minke whales and 150 endangered fin whales this season.
Iceland's new government has stated that it will re-assess its whaling policy. Yet they've still given the green light for these whales to be killed.
The first whales are usually killed in a bay just outside of Reykjavik as whaling is banned close to the harbour. The restrictions are to protect the whale watching businesses, which are popular with tourists.
"The first batch of meat will be in stores by the weekend," Gunnar Bergmann Jonsson, manager of the minke whaler association, told AFP.
He said 50 to 60 per cent of the meat will be sold domestically, while the rest is sold to Japan.
Meanwhile, the International Fund for Animal Welfare led calls for the country to call off the hunting season by handing in a letter of protest at the Icelandic embassy in London.
Former fisheries minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said in February Iceland would make no changes to its whaling quotas of 150 fin whales and up to 150 minke whales per year, despite international calls for it to reconsider.
Prior to Sigfusson's announcement, Iceland, which pulled out of an international whaling moratorium in 2006 after 16 years, had a quota of just nine fin whales and 40 minke whales per year.

info: IFAW, http://www.thewest.com.au

21.05.2009 IWC head says Japan must Compromise

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The outgoing head of the International Whaling Commission has voiced regret that his controversial drive to reach a compromise on protecting whales had failed, and said Japan needed to cede more ground.

William Hogarth steps down as both US delegate and the head of the deeply divided world whaling body after a meeting next month in Portugal, where he doubted any major progress would be reached.

The biologist, appointed by former president George W. Bush, faced heated questions at a congressional hearing from members of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party who accused him of surrendering too much to Japan.

Pressed by the panel, Hogarth said on Wednesday that Japan — which kills whales under a loophole in a global moratorium that allows "lethal research" on the ocean giants — had not put enough on the table.

"The US does not think that it's a reasonable proposal whatsoever," Hogarth said.

"I think that if Japan is not willing to discuss (further), then I do not see any future for any resolution to this issue."

Hogarth, who is also dean of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, spearheaded a series of closed-door negotiations with Japan and other nations.

Japan offered to reduce but not end its annual Antarctic hunts that infuriate whale-loving Australia and New Zealand, participants say. Japan has also pushed for the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, to accept whaling off its coasts.

"I am very disappointed that I'm leaving the chairmanship and the US commission with the IWC (while) still killing lots of whales, doing scientific whaling and that we just can't seem to resolve it," Hogarth said.

Japan says that whaling is its tradition and accuses Western nations of cultural insensitivity.

Norway and Iceland are the only nations that hunt whales in open defiance of the 1986 IWC moratorium on commercial whaling.

However, Hogarth said his efforts brought civility to the IWC, where annual meetings had long been showdowns between pro- and anti-whaling nations.

Under a deal brokered by Hogarth, Japan agreed in 2007 to suspend plans to expand its hunt to include humpback whales — beloved by Australian whale-watchers — for the first time in decades. In return, the IWC started small-group talks on the body's future.

But an IWC report issued this week acknowledged that gaps remained wide and that no compromise would be ready in time for next month's meeting on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The report recommended another year of discussions, including study by scientists of Japan's proposal for coastal whaling.

But 35 members of Congress on Wednesday signed a letter to Obama voicing "serious concern" about continuing such talks, saying that they needed to have a clear goal of reducing the number of whales killed worldwide.

Madeleine Bordallo, a Democrat who represents the Pacific territory of Guam, told Hogarth at the hearing that the United States "has been and should remain a leader in conserving whale species."

"With threats to whales increasing — such as underwater noise, pollution and climate change — the US should strengthen rather than compromise away protections for these extraordinary animals," she said.

Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International, sharply criticized Hogarth at the hearing, saying the compromise effort was misguided.

"Why should Japan, having persistently ignored the international will on these issues, and defied the conservation measures of the IWC itself, now be rewarded with part of what it seeks?" she said.

Hogarth insisted the United States has not changed position under Obama, with all US officials seeking an end goal of reducing whaling.

However, the Obama administration has said it would only accept a whaling agreement that significantly increases conservation efforts.

20.05.2009 BP & Exxon ignore pleas to help worlds most endangered whales

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/extinct-whales009.html
Oil companies refuse to even talk about saving the world's most endangered whale

April 2009. BP and Exxon have continued ignoring requests to join consultations with an international scientific panel to work to protect the world's most endangered whales, threatened by oil and gas development around Sakhalin Island in Far East Russia.

Shell & Gazprom have come to the table
The Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP), along with 11 prominent international scientists, has been in consultation with Shell and Gazprom subsidiary Sakhalin Energy over developments that may impact upon gray whales.

However, BP, Exxon and Rosneft, another Russian petroleum giant, did not respond to requests to participate.

"The continuing refusal of BP, Exxon and Rosneft to even consider joining other parties on the gray whale advisory panel is hampering conservation efforts and the flow of information—with potentially disastrous consequences for the whales," said Dr Susan Lieberman, WWF International Species Director. "On the one hand, we have Shell and Gazprom at least looking at their plans to see if impacts on whales can be reduced and on the other hand we have BP, Exxon and Rosneft not even telling scientists what their plans are."

The panel, convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in February called for a moratorium on oil and gas development after "exceptionally low" counts for North Western Pacific (Russian) gray whales in a crucial feeding zone.

Just 25 breeding females
Even before the latest counts raised alarm bells, a total of only about 130 Russian gray whales and just 25 breeding females were thought to remain, with the species listed as critically endangered both in Russia and on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. The listing in Russia imposes obligations for the special protection of such species and their habitats by minimizing activities that could lead to population decline or habitat destruction.

Noise pollution
The WGWAP said in its report published in February that "This scarcity (of gray whales) may have been related to underwater noise produced during onshore pile driving activities undertaken by Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) on the northern Piltun barrier split adjacent to the Odoptu block".

The Panel had previously noted in a letter to Prime Minister Putin that they "have been hampered by the unwillingness of ENL to allow open consideration of gray whale data collected under its partnership arrangement with Sakhalin Energy."

Seismic surveys
Last year also saw the Elvary joint venture between Rosneft & BP conducting seismic surveys immediately to the north of the whale feeding area. The company chose to ignore recommendations from the panel, failing to conduct any real "noise monitoring" of their activities.

Sakhalin Marine Federal Wildlife Reserve
A proposal to create a Sakhalin Marine Federal Wildlife Reserve for key gray whale habitat along the Piltun Spit is currently under review by Russian authorities, with WWF-Russia last year lodging the required environmental and economic justifications, and this year conducting public consultations.

The reserve would also protect Piltun Bay's shallow waters critical not just to the nutrition of gray whales but also to sustaining rich fishing grounds. Adjacent coastal areas are important for migratory birds and are in the "shadow list" of the Ramsar international convention on wetlands.

Threatened by oil & gas industries
However, oil and gas development and associated shipping and pipeline infrastructure is already threatening to fragment the proposed reserve. The environmental policies proposed by Sakhalin project development partners have been judged inadequate by the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A number of NGOs including WWF-Russia last month wrote to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, requesting a moratorium on all oil and gas project construction and surveying activities in the area that may negatively impact the dwindling gray whale population until a committee has investigated the scale of the impacts on the whales.

05.05.2009 JAPAN: The slaughter continues despite 3000 tonnes of blubber lying in storage From Stephen Phelan in Tokyo

http://www.sundayherald.com
Controversial killing fleet tastes failure as Japanese lose their appetite for whale meat
WHALING SEASON in Japan has been a relative failure this year. The fleet recently returned two weeks early to home port at Shimonoseki, after several months of clashes with protesters in the Antarctic Ocean, who effectively prevented the Japanese vessels from reaching their target quotas of 935 minke and 50 fin whales.
Another hunt was launched last week from the north-eastern port of Ayukawa, with the stated aim of catching at least another 60 minkes in domestic waters before the end of May.
According to campaign group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, this new mission is a transparent attempt to recoup the financial losses of the Antarctic hunting season before the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meets in Portugal in early June, where Japanese whalers are likely to be censured again for their ongoing programme of so-called "lethal research".
"They need to kill at least 765 whales to break even," reported Sea Shepherd, in a written statement which also alleged that Japan's whaling industry is a "criminal" enterprise perpetrated by "mad dog killers" and controlled by the Yakuza (Japanese mafia).
While no other environmental groups go quite so far - Sea Shepherd's opposition is proactive to the point of ramming its own ships into whaling vessels - most at least believe that Japan is using marine science as a cover for its ongoing trade in whale meat.
Commercial whaling has been subject to a worldwide moratorium since 1986, but Japan has carried on killing non-endangered species of whale with recourse to Article VIII of the IWC's founding treaty, which permits lethal sampling for the purposes of research, and allows for the public sale of whale meat as a by-product.
For their part, however, the public is not really buying. While the Japanese Fisheries Agency claims that up to 5000 tonnes of whale meat are consumed every year in this country, estimates suggest that at least 3000 tonnes are now sitting unwanted in cold storage.
Despite falling market prices, and regular government efforts to "educate" the population by way of academic lectures, food festivals, and compulsory school lunches, whale meat remains a dish that few modern Japanese have eaten more than twice. Not because it is scarce, they just don't like it.
Daiki Fukuda is owner of a traditional izakaya restaurant called Paddock, in the northern coastal prefecture of Ishikawa.  His reasons for not serving whale meat are purely culinary. "It doesn't taste good," he says.
"I think it's very strange to go hunting for whales near the South Pole when we have other meat and fish that are much more delicious. I tried whale meat once at school when I was a kid, and I hated it. We all did."
Customer Uma Mori agrees on the taste, but adds that eating whale meat is not considered "wrong" in Japan.
"In our culture we believe everything has life, even a grain of rice," he says. "There's not so much difference between killing an animal or cutting a piece of grass. Whale might not be food in Western countries, but it is for us." While this view may not be entirely representative, it does help explain why Japan has so far resisted pressure to abandon its whaling programme, and ignored the censures of the IWC.
In the absence of sound economic or scientific reasons (conservationists argue advances in DNA testing, fecal analysis and tagging have made lethal sampling unnecessary), there remains the question of national pride.
As Ayako Okubo of the Ocean Policy Research Foundation recently put it: "It's not that the Japanese want to eat whale meat they don't like being told not to eat it by foreigners."
This resentment is especially pronounced, because it was foreigners who told them to eat it in the first place.
Only a few villages around the edges of Japan can claim a legitimate historical tradition of whaling.
Most of the rest of the country had never tasted whale meat until after the second world war, when American occupation forces promoted it to the impoverished and malnourished populace as a relatively cheap and abundant source of protein.
Those who still claim to enjoy the taste tend to be older citizens and nostalgic baby-boomers. Japan's major political parties - all of which support whaling - are well stocked with those.
It's possible that the practice will die out as they do. But for now, says Nanami Kurasawa of Japan's Iruka and Kujira (dolphin and whale) Action Network, it is difficult for the small domestic anti-whaling lobby to be heard over the quasi-scientific rhetoric of politicians and the tacit, if silent, complicity of the general public.
"Our activities are not supported here," says Kurasawa. "The issue is too controversial for ordinary people, who believe that the government's science is neutral, and that Japan is the only nation conducting valuable whale research in Antarctica.
"The whaling community will not accept that whales are special animals. As long as they polish up' their arguments every day, it is not so easy for us to present the counter-arguments."
Meanwhile, the Japanese fleet have caught and killed 679 Minke whales this year, and counting.

21.04.2009 Poland joined IWC

Poland has been accepted as a member of IWC.

10.03.2009 Japan refuses to end 'research whaling' at IWC meeting

Tuesday 10th March, 01:25 PM JST ROME: Japan has rejected a proposal that would allow it to hunt whales in its coastal waters in exchange for scaling down or ending its ‘‘research whaling’’ in the Antarctic Ocean at a three-day informal meeting of the International Whaling Commission that began Monday in Rome, negotiation sources said. During the talks, anti-whaling members of the IWC demanded Japan cease whaling activities completely, calling its research whaling tantamount to commercial whaling.

But Japan refused to end its whaling activities entirely, the sources said, adding the delegates spent most of the first-day talks that lasted nearly six hours on Japan’s whaling activities but failed to narrow differences. A panel of external experts, set up by the IWC to break the long impasse in negotiations caused by antagonism between whaling and anti-whaling members, drafted a proposal in February to allow catcher boats from four traditional whaling ports in Japan to catch minke whales in coastal waters. The ports are Abashiri in Hokkaido, Ayukawa in Miyagi Prefecture, Wada in Chiba Prefecture and Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture.

In return, the draft calls for Japan to phase out the catching of Antarctic minke whales in stages over five years or to set an annual limit for such catches for five years.

The draft also calls for Japan to cut back on its research whaling in the northwestern Pacific. ‘‘We will seek an agreement based on the spirit of compromise,’’ a Japanese negotiating source said before the meeting.

09.03.2009 IWC meeting in Rome

IFAW (Sydney, Australia) - The Australian Government must fight harder than ever for the future of whales as the intercessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) starts today in Rome to continue negotiations that may lead to lifting the moratorium on commercial whaling.
During the IWC meeting this week, a package deal will be presented which is essentially a one-way compromise that could lift the commercial whaling moratorium; allow the Government of Japan to kill endangered species, and permit illegal, high-seas whaling to continue.

“Rather than compromising hard-won conservation measures and finding ways for whaling to expand, the IWC and its member governments should be seeking to stop ‘scientific’ whaling, which is illegal under international law, and demanding full compliance with international obligations,” Darren Kindleysides, IFAW Campaigns Manager, said.

“We expect the Australian Government to fight for the future of whales and the future of the IWC. They must expose the extreme bad faith the Government of Japan continues to demonstrate by threatening to leave the IWC and by continuing to kill whales in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary.

“The international moratorium on commercial whaling needs to be strengthened, not weakened as the world’s whales face more threats than ever before from increased whaling, entanglement in fishing nets, pollution, ship strikes and man-made ocean noise.

“We call on all of those attending the meeting in Rome not to compromise on whale protection and to move towards evolving the IWC into a body that conserves whales,” Mr Kindleysides said.

25.02.2009 European Parliament resolution of 19 February 2009 on Community action in relation to whaling

"The European Parliament:
1. Warmly welcomes the above-mentioned Commission Communication on Community action in relation to whaling and the decision on whaling,the decision on whaling, which was adopted by qualified majority at the Council; and supports the maintenance of the global moratorium on commercial whaling and a ban on international commercial trade in whale products; seeks to end "scientific whaling" and supports the designation of substantial regions of ocean and seas as sanctuaries in which all whaling is indefinitely prohibited;
2. Calls on the Council to adopt a new common position under Article 37 as well as Article 175 of the EC Treaty;
3. Believes that the conservation of whales and other cetaceans depends ultimately on the development of measures that are the subject of sufficiently broad agreement to be implemented effectively;
4. Calls on the Council, the Commission and those Member States participating in the Working Group to work toward the achievement of such an agreement;
5. Believes that discussions in the Working Group should be the subject of the greatest possible transparency;
6. Hopes that the Working Group will address the issue of lethal whaling for scientific purposes in order to find a basis for eliminating it;
7. Respects the need for a limited amount of hunting to be done by those traditionally engaged in it for the purposes of sustenance, but calls for much greater emphasis on research into and the employment of humane killing methods;
8. Calls for any such hunting to take place only with clear quotas based on the advice of the IWC Scientific Committee and regulated under strict controls incorporating full recording and reporting to the IWC;
9. Calls also for the establishment, in suitable locations around the world, of more Marine Protected Areas in which whales would receive special protection;
10. Notes that the Habitats Directive, which defines the Community position with respect to whales (and dolphins), would not allow the resumption of commercial whaling in respect of any stock of whales in EU waters;
11. Draws attention to the need to use more selective fishing gear to avoid by-catches of other species, particularly cetaceans;
12. Considers that the tragic history of commercial whaling, combined with the numerous threats currently faced by whale populations (including, inter alia, incidental catches in fishing operations, collisions with vessels, global climate change and ocean noise pollution), dictates that the EU must promote, in key international fora, in a coordinated and coherent way, the highest level of protection for whales at a global level;
13. Calls also for threats to the cetacean population arising from climate change, pollution, ship strikes, fishing gear, anthropogenic ocean noise (including sonar, seismic surveys and vessel noise) and other hazards to be tackled outside such protected areas;
14. Considers that the Commission should, in advance of global action, bring forward further proposals to counter such threats in respect of Community waters and Community vessels;
15. Takes the view that the Commission should define a revised regulatory framework for the practice of whale-watching that protects the economic and social interests of coastal regions where this activity is carried out, taking account of its recent development;
16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the International Whaling Commission, the Regional Advisory Councils, the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to which the EU belongs."
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P6-TA-2009-0067&language=EN&ring=A6-2009-0025

22.02.2009 Pew Whales Commission: whaling in the Southern Ocean should end ASAP

LISBON, Portugal, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pew Whales Commission, a high level body of eminent international group of diplomats, judges, lawyers, scientists and former Ministers, today called for government ministers to resolve the whaling stalemate.

"The Pew Whales Commission agreed on the need for a higher level of political muscle to move the International Whaling Commission (IWC) out of its current impasse," said Dr. Peter Bridgewater, Commission Chair and former chair of the IWC. "All agreed that the IWC must be preserved as the organization to conserve whales, but it needs to be brought up to date. The 1946 treaty simply does not protect whales from the threats of the 21st century."

The IWC is going through a process for reform, amidst controversy over Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. Last week, the IWC's senior negotiator released a series of recommendations and options to break the impasse.

"During our two-day meeting, almost all agreed that whaling in the Southern Ocean should end as rapidly as possible, and welcomed the IWC's negotiator's suggestion of an established whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic," said Dr. Bridgewater.

Dr. Bridgewater reported widespread agreement among participants on a range of issues important to resolving the whaling controversies, including:

* Eliminating international trade in whale products to prevent new markets from being created;
* Strengthening enforcement and compliance of national and international rules to improve governance;
* Protecting threatened and endangered whales in the Northern Pacific and throughout the world; and,
* Revising the 1946 treaty to align it with modern international policies.

The full report from the Pew Whales Commission will be released in two weeks. The IWC will be hosting a special meeting to continue its negotiations in Rome on 9 - 11 March, 2009. This will be followed by its annual meeting in Madeira in June, 2009, during which the parties hope to reach agreement on a way forward.

For more information, please go to www.PewWhales.org.

15.02.2009 EU want whaling ban

MEPs are calling for tough new measures to be taken against whaling. In a market where 1000 whales are killed each year for commercial purposes, British Liberal Elspeth Attwooll is proposing stricter penalties to deter pro-whaling countries.
Elspeth Attwooll in her own initiative report says the IWC ban on whaling should continue, but calls for an end to the use of lethal scientific whaling methods.
Other points from the report include:
* Banning international trade in whale products.
* Designating substantial areas as sanctuaries with indefinitely prohibited whaling; establish Marine Protected areas.
* Encouraging the use of selective fishing gear to avoid by-catches of smaller species.
* Limited hunting under clear, fixed quotas by communities that traditionally hunt whales to live.

MEPs will vote on the report on Thursday morning, 19 February.

More info and EU Commision report

14.02.2009 Iceland to Increase Whaling Quota to Sell Whale Meat to Japan

A day after the government of Iceland fell, outgoing fisheries and agriculture minister Einar K. Gudfinnsson announced a quota for commercial whaling for up to 150 fin whales and 100 minke whales for the next five years.

Setting a catch limit for five years is common practice under the guidelines of the International Whaling Commission.

Gudfinnsson's decision was an answer to full-page advertisements by whaling interests in two national papers. A few days after the decision, the same people advertised to thank him, saying that whaling would provide up to 300 jobs. With unemployment rising rapidly in Iceland, this figure was supposed to provide some form of rationale for the decision. Iceland has a population of just over 300,000.

There were, however, several snags in the whaling announcement. Most importantly, it is doubtful Gudfinsson had the authority to make such a decision after the government had fallen.
Full article

20.02.2009 Japan’s Whalers Defy Antarctic Laws – New Report

IFAW Press Release:
An independent group of Antarctic law and policy experts, convened in Canberra, Australia by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), has released a report detailing options available to the New Zealand, Australian and other like-minded Governments to challenge Japan’s whaling program through the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS).
“The report creates a new diplomatic and legal front for the New Zealand and Australian governments to challenge Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program as being inconsistent with the Antarctic legal regime,” Canberra Panel Chair and Australian National University Professor of International Law, Don Rothwell, said.

Under the ATS any activities in the extremely sensitive Antarctic and Southern Ocean are subject to rigorous environmental impact assessments before they are permitted to proceed. Activities include the construction of new scientific bases, tourism, and scientific research.

Despite their whaling program being one of the biggest maritime operations in the Antarctic every year, the Government of Japan has not met this obligation. Currently Japanese whaling is occurring within the Ross Sea in an area under New Zealand’s search and rescue responsibility. The whalers operate with sub-Antarctic standard vessels and undertake extremely dangerous operations such as refuelling at sea. Already this summer New Zealand has raised concerns as to its capacity to respond to a maritime incident in the Ross Sea.

The environmental risks associated with Antarctic whaling were clearly highlighted in 2007 by the explosion and subsequent fire onboard the whale factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru, which could have resulted in the spillage of chemicals and hundreds of tonnes of fuel oil.

“Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are governed by one of the most comprehensive environmental legal regimes. Why is Japanese whaling exempt from that regime?” Professor Rothwell said.

“Antarctica has been designated as a natural reserve to protect its unique environment for future generations. Japanese whaling is already a stain on this environment,” IFAW Programs Manager Darren Kindleysides said.

“It is inexplicable and inexcusable that Japan’s whalers be allowed to operate without any accountability. IFAW urges the New Zealand Government to lodge a strong protest at the next Antarctic Treaty Consultative Mechanism meeting in America in April,” Mr Kindleysides said.

The Canberra Panel report endorses previous Legal Opinions, sought by IFAW, that concluded the New Zealand and Australian governments can take Japan to the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to challenge the legitimacy of Japan’s ‘scientific’whaling program.

The report and summary can be obtained at www.ifaw.org

2008 whaling archives

27.06.2008 60th IWC meeting news

IWC votes against Greenland Indigenous whaling

25.06.2008 60th IWC meeting news

The on-going 60th conference of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) saw some hope of breaking the stalemate on Wednesday as proponents and opponents of more whaling reached a consensus on reconciling their differences.
The bloc decided to appoint a 24-country working group to coordinate different stances and try to come up with an agreement on 33 issues including Japan's proposal on resuming commercial whale hunting and some Latin American countries' suggestion to establish sanctuaries for whales, the two most controversial issues that have sparked heated debate during the conference, while either side seems unlikely to secure the 75 percent of votes needed for approval by rule if any voting is conducted.
The working group will include such pro-whaling countries as Japan, Iceland and Norway and whale defenders such as Australia and New Zealand.
No deadline has been set for such an agreement, but a report is expected to be submitted by the working group during next year's IWC conference in Madeira, Portugal.
Meanwhile, Japan for the first time presented a report on its whaling activities, which admitted that hunting is a factor for changes in the Antarctic ecosystem.
Japan, calling for more whaling, seeks new whaling rights off the Japanese coast and special rights for whaling to four Japanese coastal communities during the conference, arguing many species and stock of whales are abundant. The country kills some 1,400 whales per year, 40 percent of which are pregnant…
Full text

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

24.06.2008 Amid protest

Amid protest, the 2008 meeting of the International Whaling Commission opened in Chile, where the host nation proposed a permanent ban on whaling in its waters.

VIDEO
Members of the International Whaling Commission say they have put off the most controversial issues on their agenda because of a deadlock between pro- and anti-whaling nations.
The commission says it will name a working group to overcome the differences. Its report will probably come next year.
Commission President William Hogarth says the agreement is ''a step forward.''
Tuesday's agreement follows bickering between whaling countries such as Japan and critics such as Australia. Japan favors limited commercial whaling while some other nations want an outright ban on whale kills.
New IWC rules anger anti-whaling groups
Positive start to IWC meeting for New Zealand
Mystery meat: Japan unable to account for fin whales on sale
JAPAN vs Australia and IWC

13.06.2008 2008 International Whaling Commission 60th Meeting soon

60th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission will begin on 23 June in Santiago, Chile with delegates from approximately 80 nations and several dozens NGOs.

HSUS:"The pre-meeting skirmishes began in mid-May when Iceland’s foreign minister publicly criticized her government’s decision to resume whaling. Then came word that Iceland and Norway had resumed shipments of whale meat to Japan, drawing criticism from the U.S. State Department. Shortly after that, in a state of the nation address, Chile’s president Michele Bachelet advocated for a full prohibition on whaling by the Chilean parliament. The Environment Council of the European Union reached agreement on a common position of support for the moratorium. Finally, Dominica announced that after eight years of supporting the whaling nations it would not vote with them in Santiago.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Congress, a resolution asking the government to use all appropriate measures to strengthen the moratorium on commercial whaling was moving toward consideration by the full Congress"

20.05.2008 Iceland once again resumed whaling

HSUS:"Last August, less than a year after resuming commercial whale hunts, Iceland announced that it would end the hunt. The government mentioned low market demand and lack of access to the Japanese market for whale meat as reasons for the decision. But Iceland has once again changed its mind, putting forth a plan to hunt up to 40 minke whales in 2008.

Iceland has consistently rejected international efforts to conserve whales, and its "scientific" whaling was widely criticized as commercial whaling in disguise. Now, the country is apparently claiming that the International Whaling Commission moratorium no longer applies to its fishery."

08.02.2008 Japan's "scientific research" - slaughter of minke whales in the Southern Ocean

Article from: The Advertiser:
AUSTRALIAN Customs chiefs have finally released video footage showing the Japanese torture of whales as they are harpooned.
The disturbing proof of the cruel nature of Japan's "scientific research" - their justification for this year's slaughter of minke whales in the Southern Ocean - emerged today after The Advertiser revealed photos of a mother minke and baby being winched aboard a Japanese whaler.
Scientists say the calf was less than one year old.

Watch the film taken by an Australian ship monitoring the hunt:

the video and the article

2007 whaling archives

26.03.2007 Japan's damaged whaling ship returns to port.

Source: Reuters/ WDCS

Japan's flagship whaling vessel, the Nisshin Maru, has arrived in back in port from Antarctica, with the remains of 508 whales onboard.
The ship was stranded in Antarctica last month after it caught fire, killing one crew member. The incident ended the hunt early, with 508 out of a self-allocated quota of 945 whales killed. The quota included up to 935 minke whales and 10 fin whales.
Japan’s Antarctic hunt is highly controversial. Not only does it take place in a designated whale sanctuary, but also targets fin whales, classified as endangered and the second largest animal on earth. Next season, Japan plans to kill 50 humpback whales in addition to minke and fin whales.
Japan continues to whale despite the ban on commercial whaling and falling demand for whale meat, claiming its hunts are for scientific purposes. Meanwhile, authorities in Japan are desperately promoting whale meat to new audiences in an attempt to empty stockpiles from previous hunts.

Japan’s North Pacific hunt is expected to begin soon.

30.03.2007 Norway’s whaling season to begin

source: WDCS
The world’s largest commercial whale hunt is due to commence in Norway this weekend with the highest coastal catch allowance since Norway’s return to commercial whaling 14 years ago.
Around 30 boats are licensed to take part in the hunt which can kill more than a thousand minke whales during a five month season starting on 1st April. Despite an international ban on commercial whaling, Norway has continued to hunt minke whales in the North Atlantic since 1993 through a legal ‘objection’ lodged against the ban and has increased its self allocated quota at an alarming rate in recent years, from 670 in 2004 to 796 in 2005 up to 1052 in 2007.
“Norway has raised its self-allocated quota year after year, despite international condemnation of its commercial whaling. But demand is falling for whale meat in Norway, like everywhere else, and last years’ season showed that this is a wasteful and unnecessary industry. We hope that this year they again fail to kill the number of animals they have allocated and consider stopping the hunt altogether,” commented Sue Fisher from WDCS, an international whale protection charity.
In the last ten years Norwegian whalers have fulfilled their quota only once, in 2001, when the quota was much lower at 546 minke whales. Debate has raged as to whether the domestic market can sustain the ever increasing quotas. Last year, the whaling season was suspended for three weeks because whalers could not sell the products from the animals they had already killed. The Government also extended the season to allow the whalers more time to fulfil their quota.
Despite last year’s struggle to both kill and sell the high numbers of whales allocated, this year’s quota of over 1000 whales includes a 30% increase in the number of animals to be killed in the easier-to-reach coastal waters. In recent years, whalers have largely ignored the quota assigned to Norway’s far distant Jan Mayen territory. Last year, none of the 443 whales assigned to that region were hunted and whalers called on the government to allow more hunting in the coastal zone. As a result, for 2007 the allowance in mainland coastal waters has been increased to 900 minke whales from 609 in 2006, while the Jan Mayen quota has been reduced to 152.

11.04.2007 Nicaragua States It Will Not Longer Vote for Whaling

The Nicaraguan government announced yesterday it will not support whaling in the upcoming reunion of the International Whaling Commission. They informed in a statement that the government is in favor of whale preservation and protection.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nicaraguan Republic informed in a statement that the government is in favor of whale preservation and protection.
The government even accepted the Buenos Aires Declaration, compromised itself with the moratorium on commercial whaling and rejected lethal scientific research of whales.
Milko Schvartzman, coordinator of ‘Defending Our Oceans’ Campaigns of the international environmental organization Greenpeace, is present in Nicaragua to support a protest against the government because until yesterday it positioned itself in favor of whaling. He welcomed the new position of the country towards the IWC, but notified that they will not stop working as long as the country’s new position is not reflected in the votes next May, in favor or against whaling.
Therefore, inhabitants of at least eight countries in Latin America and Europe, and Australia, protest today against Nicaragua, against its support to whaling ever since former president Enrique Bolaños came into power in 2001.
Groups of environmentalists in different places all over the world will install cemeteries simulating whales in front of the Nicaraguan embassies and consulates asking for the government to abandon its position in the IWC.
Schvartzman said that the protest’s idea is “that the Nicaraguan government not only listens to its own citizens, but also to citizens of Latin America and of the whole world”.
The protests are held from the early morning hours onwards, in various cities in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Portugal, Australia and Spain. In Nicaragua the protest starts at 2 p.m. in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Every protest consists of 945 whale tales, which will be placed in front of the embassies with the text R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) written on them, referring to a whale cemetery.
The President Daniel Ortega Saavedra took upon himself to change Nicaragua’s vote while he was candidate for President. But it was not until yesterday that he gave signals to comply this promise; before that he maintained a nearly absolute silence over the theme. Nicaragua has not paid the 20 thousand dollar contribution of the IWC and until now it does not have the right to vote.

5th May 2007 Cyprus joins anti-whaling campaign

By Leo Leonidou
CYPRUS has signed up to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in an effort to thwart Japan’s attempts to take control of the organisation and scrap the international ban on commercial hunting of the great whales.
The island has been joined by Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Peru and Costa Rica following a British diplomatic campaign.
The group is expected to vote with the anti-whalers later this month and nullify the voting majority which Japan and its pro-whaling allies secured in the organisation for the first time last year, at the IWC meeting in St Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies.
Cyprus and Greece have come on board after a lobbying campaign in which a glossy brochure, setting out the case against whaling and jointly signed by Tony Blair and the doyen of British environmentalists, Sir David Attenborough, was sent to 57 governments, including new European Union members.
It is possible that further countries may join the IWC on the anti-whaling side, although not in time for the IWC meeting in Alaska.
Cyprus is said to be the last of 73 countries to join the IWC, with Parliament discussing the issue back in February.
The Cabinet has appointed Myroula Hadjichristoforou of the Fisheries Department as the island’s official representative in the matter.
According to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, last year’s Japanese majority was secured after a decade-long campaign of persuading small countries to join the IWC and vote with Japan in return for substantial aid packages. So in a sense, the anti-whaling nations have been playing the Japanese at their own game.
The newspaper said senior British sources are confident that the votes of the six new members will be enough to nullify the Japanese majority. In St Kitts it was achieved at only one vote, and as it was a simple 51 per cent majority, it was short of the 75 per cent needed to overturn the whaling moratorium.
But it did enable the Japanese and their pro-whaling allies, led by Norway and Iceland, to pass the so-called ‘St Kitts declaration’, which said that the 1986 international moratorium was no longer necessary, and that as whales consumed “huge quantities of fish”, whale hunting was now necessary for food security for poor nations. This signalled that the campaign to reopen commercial whaling was in full swing.
If the Japanese majority can be decisively overturned, a counter-resolution would seem more than likely.

Breaking News from the 2007 IWC Meeting

http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/save_whales_not_whaling/breaking_news/

30th May We did it! Your actions helped make a difference for whales.

I wanted to be the first to share with you some fantastic news. Japan’s fourth largest fisheries company, Kyokuyo, has pledged to stop its sale of whale meat in Japan. Its decision follows a campaign led by Humane Society International, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

In April, the coalition of environmental and animal welfare groups called on American company True World Foods, which partnered with Kyokuyo to distribute sushi in the United States, to persuade Kyokuyo to stop selling whale products. According to Kyokuyo, it has ceased production of whale products and is in the process of selling off its remaining stockpile.

Without companies like Kyokuyo, Japan's whaling industry will fall flat. This news is especially timely as Japan is pushing its plan to kill even more whales at the International Whaling Commission meeting, happening right now in Alaska. Read HSI's daily coverage of the IWC.

This campaign would not have been a success without your tireless efforts. Thank you again to each of you who sent emails to True World Foods and Kyokuyo. This victory reminds us to never to give up, and that there are rewards for compassionate action and perseverance. Please share this tremendous news with others and let them know that you had a part in making it happen.

Sincerely,

Andrew Rowan
Chief Executive Officer
Humane Society International

WWF about IWC meeting:

"The meeting marked some advances for whales but they in no way match the level of threats facing the world’s whales, dolphins and porpoises today," said Gordon Shepherd, director of international policy for WWF-International. "Governments must stop grandstanding and get serious about establishing an organization capable of dealing with the real problems these species face."

The most dramatic moment came at the end of the meeting when the government of Japan, after numerous delays, withdrew its proposal for a quota of minke whales due to obvious lack of support, and stated its possible intention to leave the IWC. This threat, and its refusal to participate in a number of votes, contradicts its stated intention to turn the IWC into a constructive and effective organization.

"As governments disagree on the same issues over and again, more and more whales are being killed by governments exploiting loopholes in the moratorium against commercial whaling. This degrades the entire spirit of the convention" said Wendy Elliott of WWF International’s Global Species Program. "Time is running out for these species and for the IWC."

Positive steps for whales during the meeting included the IWC’s Scientific Committee committing to hold a workshop on climate change, an accelerating threat to cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). The commission also adopted a resolution by consensus urging strong action to save the critically endangered vaquita, a porpoise, in Mexico. This marks the first time a conservation resolution on a small cetacean was passed by consensus. In addition, strong statements were made against the proposal by the U.S. government to lease an area of critical habitat for the world’s most endangered whale population – the eastern North Pacific right whale – for oil and gas development.

"Governments like the U.S. that support whale conservation at the IWC must be consistent – it is critical that the U.S. reinstates the moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the habitat of the eastern North Pacific right whale," continued Elliott. "The vaquita resolution demonstrates that the IWC can deal with conservation. This organization obviously has the potential to help whales – now is the time to use it."

27.09.07 Good news (??): Iceland want to stop whalling because it is … unprofitable.

For whales the reason doesn't matter that's true. But for me it does and I don't understand why the HSUS ended the petition to Iceland gov. They announced they would end the hunt next year (we will see…) besides they are still hunting (there are 23 whales to kill !!! according to Iceland's this year's quota) and apart from that commercial whalling Iceland kill whales also in the name of science.

http://www.hsus.org:
"In August 2007, less than a year after resuming a commercial whale hunt, Iceland announced that it would end the hunt. They listed low market demand and lack of access to the Japanese market for whale meat as reasons for the decision.
The change in policy came nearly a year after an Oct. 17, 2006 announcement by the Icelandic Fisheries Ministry saying that Iceland was resuming commercial whale hunts.
Iceland planned to kill 30 minke and nine fin whales by September 2007, while continuing to hunt additional whales for its "scientific" research program. Seven minke and seven fin whales were killed in the last year for the commercial hunt. Some of their bodies were left in a garbage dump due to lack of demand.
In late August 2007, Iceland's fisheries minister, Einar K. Guofinnsson, told Reuters that the country would not continue the commercial hunt after the current quotas expired on Aug. 31, 2007. However, on September 14th, the minister announced that the commercial hunt would be extended until the first of November 2007 to give the whalers time to kill more minke whales, as there were still 23 remaining in this year's quota.
Criticism, Faltering Iceland Industries Drive Decision
Iceland was subject to much criticism from concerned citizens around the world urging the country to end its commercial hunt. Iceland's whale watching and tourism industry were also negatively affected and the industries urged their government not to resume the hunt.
The United States and other conservation-minded countries have formally expressed their opposition to Iceland's whaling programs. And in June 2007, Iceland lost its bid for a scientific review of fin whale stocks by CITES. The bid, had it passed, would have undermined the International Whaling Commission's authority on whales and might eventually have led to the ban on commercial whaling being lifted—not a good prospect for faltering whale populations."
Iceland's scientific hunt will apparently continue. As of the end of August, 33 out of a quota of 39 minke whales had already been killed in 2007.

21 Dec 2007 WWF Welcomes Japan's Announcement Not to Hunt Humpback Whales

WWF site:
The Japanese government has agreed to drop plans to hunt humpback whales during this year's annual whaling expedition in the Antarctic.
This year's hunt is particularly controversial because in addition to some 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales, the fleet intended to kill up to 50 humpbacks.
"Humpback whales have captured the hearts and minds of the public like almost no other sea creature," said Wendy Elliott of WWF's Global Species Programme.
"Humpbacks are viewed with awe when sighted on whale watching expeditions — not only because of their majesty, but also their rarity. This species is still to fully recover from systematic hunting prior to the 1960s that decimated populations, and the species is classified as vulnerable by IUCN."
Humpback whales have been protected from commercial whaling for more than 40 years as the IWC banned their commercial hunting since the mid 1960's - well before the global moratorium on whaling into force in 1986.
"WWF welcomes this climb down. However, Japan is still flouting international opinion by going after minke and fin whales - all in the name of so called science," Elliott added.
WWF says Japan's "scientific whaling" it is nothing more than a cover that uses bogus science as a pretext for commercial whaling. The environmental organization has repeatedly condemned Japan's scientific whaling programme as unnecessary and unscientific, noting that non-lethal research techniques are available to provide nearly all relevant data on whale populations.
The current expedition lasts through April.

Dolphin Drive Hunts in Japan

Facts about Dolphin Drive Hunts in Japan

During drive hunts, migrating pods of dolphins and other small whales are first panicked and confused by loud banging, then herded, by the hundreds, into shallow coves and butchered, one by one, by fishermen. Every year, some 20,000 small cetaceans of several species, some of which are endangered, including bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, spotted dolphins, Risso�s dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, white-sided dolphins and false killer whales, are killed or taken in the drives, sometimes illegally.

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This cruel and inhumane practice is sanctioned and controlled by the Government of Japan, which claims that these animals compete with the fishermen and slaughtering them is a means of pest control, but no evidence for this claim exists. The dolphins are processed and used as pet food or fertilizer, and the government is encouraging the consumption of dolphin meat. In fact, the hunts would be economically unviable without the sale of live dolphins captured during the drives to dolphinariums in Asia and elsewhere.

There is abundant scientific evidence that drive hunts inflict incredible pain and suffering on highly intelligent, self-aware, and socially complex animals. The hunts have been universally condemned on both welfare and conservation grounds, but repeated requests to end them, from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and numerous other scientific and conservation organizations, have been ignored.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the professional organization that represents over 1,200 zoos and aquariums around the world, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in the United States, have also condemned these hunts. WAZA explicitly prohibits member organizations from procuring animals from drive hunts. Now, marine scientists, WAZA, and AZA have joined with other non-governmental organizations to bring an immediate end to drive hunting.


End Dolphin Slaughter in Japan - The petition to Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, Government of Japan

Click here to sign

TELL THE AMBASSADOR TO THE JAPANESE EMBASSY: STOP KILLING DOLPHINS TODAY!

Click here to sign the petition

Take action:

Please write to dolphinaria and express your opposition to the purchase of live dolphins and whales from Japanese drive hunts.

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)
Peter Dollinger
WAZA Executive Office
PO Box 23
CH – 3097 Liebefeld – Bern
Switzerland
Email: gro.azaw|tairaterces#gro.azaw|tairaterces

Write a letter to the Japanese Prime Minister to voice your objection to dolphin drive hunts in his country on welfare and conservation grounds or leave a message by visiting this site: http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment.html

Prime Minister of Japan
Mr Junichiro Koizumi
Fax: + 81- 3 -3581-3883
Email: pj.og.sac|ofni-phietnaK#pj.og.sac|ofni-phietnaK


Tell New Zealand to protect endangered dolphins

The biggest threat to Hector's and Maui's dolphins is from commercial and recreational fishing. The dolphins are unable to detect set nets - fixed nets that are held on or off shore with anchors – and, if they become entangled, they drown within minutes. They are also accidentally caught by commercial fishing vessels. Add to this the disturbances to their habitat from tourism, polluted waters, coastal development and boat traffic, and survival for one of the world's rarest marine dolphins is a daily battle.

But there is hope. By taking the necessary action and removing all human threats New Zealand can give the dolphins their best chance of survival. Failure to do so could mean we will lose these enigmatic animals forever.

On 15 November 2007, WWF presented a petition calling on the New Zealand government to protect Hector’s and Maui's dolphins.
Staff from WWF were joined on the steps of the New Zealand Parliament by a vibrant group of 111 children, each representing one of the 111 Maui’s now left in the world.

The children’s presence sent a strong message to the ministers - protect these amazing animals now, for the next generation to see and enjoy.

Hector's and Maui's dolphins live around the shores of New Zealand and are amongst the rarest marine dolphins in the world. But unless urgent action is taken these amazing creatures could become extinct within a generation.

On behalf of the children and each person who signed this action, WWF is calling on New Zealand to bring in the strongest protection for the dolphins and stop their extinction.

The team at WWF-New Zealand thanks all the staff and children of Cardinal McKeefry School in Wellington for being so inspiring at the event and helping to save our dolphins!

Thank you to everyone who signed the petition to save New Zealand’s dolphins. With your help we really are making a difference.

Links:

IFAW Campaing:
http://www.stopwhaling.org/site/c.hhLTK0PDLqF/b.1511185/k.43B6/Stop_Whaling_Now__Whales__Whale_Remix_Project.htm

HSUS Action for Whales
http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/save_whales_not_whaling/take_action/

http://www.stopbloodywhaling.org

http://www.stopbloodywhaling.org/blog/index.php

http://www.savethewhalesagain.com

http://www.whales.greepeace.org

http://www.oceanconservancy.org

Contacts:

Japanesee Embassy in London,
Ambassador Yoshiji Nogami
email: ku.gro.yssabmepj|ofni#ku.gro.yssabmepj|ofni
address: 101-104 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7JT

video:
http://www.glumbert.com/media/dolphin

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