Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Australia Barks Again at Japan's Whale Hunt, Sea Shepherd Readies to Bite

So before this thing kicks off, this blog is a joint blog. Meaning that I will be talking about stuff for Operation Sadistic Truths as well as bringing up some news about Sea Shepherd's Operation No Compromise.

On December 28th, the Japanese Whaling Fleet left Japan en route to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. It is here that they will attempt to slaughter 935 Minke Whales and 50 ENDANGERED Fin Whales. For the past few years, the nation of Australia, who controls the whale sanctuary, has condemned Japan for performing the hunt in the sanctuary. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) had banned commercial whaling, but a few nations, such as Japan utilize a legal loophole stating that they are killing whales for scientific research. This is permitted by the which then allows the excess meat of the whale to be sold rather than discarded. This is the loophole that Japan continues to exploit despite not turning out any form of scientific research on whales in several years. Australia continues to threaten and actually take legal action against Japan, but until any form of verdict is reached, Japan intends to continue doing what they do in the Southern Ocean. As has been the case for the several years now, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be attempting to uphold international law and attempt to reduce the Japanese kill count to zero.

To clarify the kill quota for 2013...

935 Minke Whales

50 ENDANGERED Fin Whales

Australia, along with New Zealand will be heading to court against Japan on the issue of whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The outcome of this, I suspect, will do very little to deter Japan from performing its illegal activities. Australia has been asked multiple times by Sea Shepherd to send a vessel down to the Southern Ocean to observe the hunt for themselves. This would be an incredible weapon for Australia to use in court, but every year, including 2013, they refuse to send a ship south to record the illegal activities for themselves. At this point though it is starting to look like the whale hunt is far more than people just trying to make a living or keep a dying industry afloat. According to Sea Shepherd Captain, Paul Watson, the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) wanted to call off the hunt for the year because their ships are in such poor condition. The Japanese government however insisted the hunt continue and poured 24 million dollars into refitting the factory ship. It's almost looking like the Japanese Government just does not want to fold on the whaling issue. It has not brought them a single dollar for 3+ years now and has cost the country millions and millions of dollars. Some of this money lost was money that was given to Japan to help it recover from the tsunami and earthquake. Instead of helping it's people, Japan put some of the money towards beefing up security on it's whaling vessels. With Japan doing all of these things, including sending the whaling fleet south when the RESEARCH institution said they don't want to send them is really nothing but further proof that no research is going on. It's a sick truth that the IWC continues to turn a blind eye to. It is a truth surrounded by greed, broken promises, lies, bribes, and so many more things that are just disgraceful. Japan has to be stopped, but until recently, no one has frankly had the guts to challenge Japan in any shape or form.

While Australia continues to push against Japan, alongside New Zealand. For the longest time, Australia has condemned the hunt, but taken no action to put an end to it. This could be the start of the end for the Japanese Whaling Industry in the Southern Ocean. Australia's environmental minister has said in a recent interview “In the interim it is open to Japan any day of the year to take the same action that the rest of world has taken and that is to observe a moratorium in the Southern Ocean. That is to accept that commercial whaling is wrong and scientific whaling is a joke." he later goes on to say “We cannot continue to have a situation where everybody knows it’s nothing to do with science and yet, with a nod and a wink, Japanese fleets travel from one side of the globe to the other to engage in this, and to break the moratorium year after year”.  While Australia aims to take Japan down in court, Sea Shepherd is ready to defend the whales through direct action in the Southern Ocean. (This concludes the portion of this blog dedicated to Operation Sadistic Truths, stuff about Sea Shepherd's Operation No Compromise is ahead after a brief subliminal message)

( Sorry, saw that and couldn't help myself. Back to the whales!)

Currently, Sea Shepherd is waiting for the Japanese Whaling Fleet to arrive in the Southern Ocean. It is thought that they should arrive sometime around January 19th. Currently, the thought is that even without Sea Shepherd interference, Japan has lost so much time refitting the factory ship that they would be hard pressed to reach 50% of their quota. Last year, Sea Shepherd prevented the fleet from catching roughly 75% of its quota. With Sea Shepherd lying in wait for Japan, it could be the first season that Japan kills zero whales. That would probably deliver a killing stroke to the operation. In order to prevent this, Japan was rewarded by a United States Court that says no Sea Shepherd vessel shall come within 500 feet of a Japanese whaling vessel. There is a problem with that order though. The order was put on Sea Shepherd USA. The ships and operation are all based out of Sea Shepherd Australia. Sea Shepherd USA will not send a ship near a whaling vessel, but there is no reason Sea Shepherd Australia needs to obey this order.

 The Japanese Whaling Fleet this year consists of 4 ships. One factory ship, two harpoon ships, and a security ship. For the first time, Sea Shepherd has matched the number of ships with 4. One of which is a high speed vessel, and two are fitted to cut through ice. One of those ironically is a former Japanese whaling vessel. For those of you who are for the whales, here are the ships to be rooting for until the killing stops. 

The Steve Irwin

The Bob Barker

The Brigitte Bardot

and introducing...

The Sam Simon

This is Neptune's Navy for Operation No Compromise.

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