Greetings everyone and welcome back to Operation Bleeding Seas II. Today is a fantastic day for the whales of the Southern Ocean and anyone who has fought to see the Japanese Whaling Fleet stopped. Before I get started on this though, this blog will be about whales despite whales not being focused on during this operation, this news is beyond needed to comment on. Getting back to the matters at hand.
Early this morning the International Court of Justice announced that Japan's JARPA II whaling program is not a scientific whaling program. They ordered that Japan revoke all whaling permits under JARPA II be revoked. Also, no permits may be given to kill whales under the JARPA II program. The vote passed 12-4. The court stated that Japan's whaling program was not scientific whaling as defined by the International Whaling Commission. This officially means that Japans whaling program is illegal. Now there is no disputing this. The scientific claims have been defeated and now it is clear as day that Japan's whaling program was nothing more than commercial whaling hiding under the banner of scientific whaling.
For many years now, including this year, Japan had used the JARPA II whaling program to get under an international ban on commercial whaling which was handed down by the International Whaling Commission. Japan claimed that they were killing whales for scientific research when in reality, all they were doing was killing whales for profit, not science. That is no longer an opinion. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society knew this all along as year after year they met with the whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and engaged in the now famous Whale Wars. Now that the mask of scientific whaling has been taken off, one major question exists in my mind. Is Japan done?
Now that the International Court has ruled that Japan's whaling program is not scientific whaling will Japan call off it's annual whale hunt? For now that is an unanswered question. Japan has already claimed that they will not give up on research whaling just yet. The North Pacific will still see the Japanese whaling fleet doing what they do as Japanese representatives try to figure out what they will do with their Antarctic program. Japan's North Pacific Whaling Program was not covered in Australia's lawsuit against Japan's Antarctic program so they are still allowed to whale in those waters as far as I understand. Hopefully this is the long awaited end of the Whale Wars. Hopefully a harpoon is never again fired into the spine of a whale in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. If Japan does again head south to kill whales against the court's orders, than the Australian and New Zealand Government should send ships and arrest each and every one of the poachers and confiscate the ships of the fleet as well. Should these governments fail to uphold international law and allow poaching in Australian waters, then Sea Shepherd will once again be down there to uphold what can now be officially known as international law.
Today is a fantastic day for the whales and everyone who has ever fought for them. From Greenpeace, to Sea Shepherd, to every other organization that has taken a stance against whaling, to every individual person who has spoken out against this whaling program, thank you. We have all fought (some longer than others for sure) to see Japan's Antarctic Whaling Program JARPA II be deemed illegal and now it officially is. If the Japanese poachers return to the Southern Ocean, we will all return as well until the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is what it is supposed to be, a sanctuary.