A message from MadMermaids to Japan..
Stop Killing Whales.
Get Mad. Get Active
Does it make you mad to think that your children might grow up in a world without whales, a world without sharks, a world without Tigers. I know it makes me mad. MadMermaids Scuba applauds the efforts of Greenpeace, SeaShepherd and the other environmental groups that stand up to save the whale. What can you do? My advise is to join these groups that fight for this fragile world we live in and it’s endangered creatures. Send E-mails with our cyber activist page. Get vocal and talk to people about your views go to any organized protests. Display the "Stop Killing Whales" image. Click to learn more. One good way of getting the message out is to wear the message, "Stop killing whales" and an Anti Whaling T-shirt is much more practical than a board! Just think about how many people have seen your favorite T-shirt. The message to Japan on our Anti Whaling T-shirts is quite simple “Stop Killing Whales” and the Japanese says simply "Stop Whaling".
Madmermaids Scuba offer Anti Whaling T-shirts along with other designs in our online shop. Check out the shop.
- MadMermaids Scuba Ltd.
MadMermaids Salute SeaShepherd and Greenpeace
SeaShepherd now more than ever need your support please visit SeaShepherd.org and help how you can. We have seen images in the past of Greenpeace vessels dodging harpoons and water cannons as they put their inflatables between the whales and the Japanese whaling fleet but unfortunately in November of 2008 they decided not to actively defend the whales in the Southern Oceans from the Japanese despite all of the fundraising they do to save the whale. I remain disappointed in the Greenpeace decision to concentrate on a negotiation only approach. SeaShepherd have a more proactive aggressive approach to save the whales hunted in the southern whales sanctuary and are now the only thing that stands defiant between the whales and the whale killers. In 2010 the Seashepherd vessel Ady Gil was dramatically rammed by one of the whaling fleet. Now with talks of ending the moratorium is the time to get active, to stand up and be counted, tell Japan and the other Pro whaling nations to Stop Killing Whales.
Commercial whaling was banned twenty four years ago - if Japan has it’s way it will return tomorrow..
Japan Killing Whales - History
Japan has a very long history of whaling. The oldest written mention of whaling in Japanese records is from Kojiki, the oldest known Japanese historical book. Harpooning of whales by hand began in Japan in the 12th century, but it was not until the 1670s, when a new method of catching whales using nets was developed, that whaling really began to spread throughout Japan. In the 1890s Japan followed international trends, first switching to modern harpoon whaling techniques, and eventually to factory ships for mass whaling. After World War II food was scarce in Japan and whales meat, a cheap source of protein, became a staple in the Japanese post-war diet. In many whaling nations, the discovery of petroleum products that could replace the industrially important parts of whales, such as the oil, resulted in a decline in the importance and levels of whaling. This was not the case in Japan where whale meat was an important food source and where the whaling industry was a source of pride.
Iceland left the International Whaling Commission in 1992 in protest to the ban on whaling. They rejoined in 2002, smelling whale blood, to support Japan with thier Pro whaling votes.
Iceland broke the ban on whaling in October 2006 by Killing an endangered fin whale which was landed at the harbor of Hvalfjörour in Iceland. This fin whale pictured is the first kill by Iceland and marks the resumption to commercial whaling for the country. Pro whaling Japan and Norway congratulated Icelands decision while the anti whaling movement and many governments around the world were angered and dumbfounded.
Regulating Body... Yeah Right!
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up in 1946 to conserve whales and to regulate whaling. The IWC attempted to maintain world commercial whaling through quotas in an effort to allow individual whale stocks to replenish in number. During the first twenty-five years of the International Whaling Commissions existence, the organization saw the continued overexploitation and depletion of whale stocks. The recommendations of the International Whaling Commissions Scientific Committee at that time, were ignored by the whaling countries. As a result, whale stocks continued to be over exploited, and the advice concerning sustainable catch limits were ignored. When populations were finally protected from further hunting, it was usually after they had already collapsed. By the time the moratorium (ban) on commercial whaling came into force in 1986, some whale species had been reduced by more than 95%.
Time to Stop Killing Whales
The 1970s saw the beginning of the global anti-whaling movement and the International Whaling Commission was bombarded by protests against the killing of whales, Stop Whaling and Save the Whales were frequent slogans on banners and Anti Whaling T-shirts. In 1972 the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm adopted a proposal that recommended a ten year moratorium on commercial whaling to allow whale stocks to recover. The reports of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1977 and 1981 identified many species of whales as being in danger of extinction. Finally, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, completed in 1982, said that, "member states shall cooperate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of whales shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for the conservation, management and study." A number of non whaling and anti whaling states joined the Convention and eventually gained a majority over a dwindling number of pro whaling nations. Nations like the United States, previously considered major whaling forces, became strong proponents of the anti whaling cause. The new conservation minded states began to advocate greater restrictions on the killing of whales after scientific studies proved the advanced intellectual capacity of whales. These nations, along with the global community, called for the International Whaling Commission to reform its whaling policies to save the whale and stop whaling.
The Ban and the Loophole
In 1982, the International Whaling Commission voted with the necessary three thirds majority to implement a pause on commercial whaling by 1986. The moratorium (ban) on commercial whaling, that has lasted for twenty years, unfortunately left provision for limited whaling under a scientific research permit. Japan initially objected to the moratorium but withdrew its objection in the face of the threat of economic sanctions made by the United States. Therefore, Japan became bound by the moratorium, unlike Norway, Russia and Iceland who had not signed. In 1987 Japan stopped it’s commercial whaling activities in Antarctic waters, but in the same year began it’s scientific whaling program called JARPA (Japanese Research Program in Antarctica). Exploiting the loophole in the legislation the scientific research started killing whales using the same boats, crew and equipment in the same area of the Pacific Ocean as the commercial whaling did prior to the moratorium. The only difference being the façade of scientific research.
The Japanese government pathetically justifies killing whales by saying that this type of scientific whaling provides insight into the dietary habits of whales. I say if shows more about the dietary habits of a few ignorant Japanese. The Japanese Government say that analysis of stomach contents and
analysis of actual tissue is the only way to ascertain the age of a whale as well as the degree of interbreeding in the population which provides insight into whale population distribution. What in fact happens is the harpooned whale is dragged onboard, weighed and measured briefly before being processed by the butchers. In 2005, the JARPA scientific research program was replaced by the JARPA-II program, which increases the quota of minke whales to 900, and unbelievably, adds fin whales to the program. This move has sparked a great deal of anger among anti whaling nations, in particular because fin whales are listed as endangered under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species. It is widely agreed, amongst humans who care about this planet we live in, that it is abhorrent and the height of arrogance and ignorance to make a species Extinct. Starting in 2007, Japan plans to harvest up to 50 humpback whales and 50 fin whales annually. Japan confines it’s killing of whales to two areas; the North Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere. Neither the International Whaling Commission nor its scientific committee have requested any research by Japan, and both have repeatedly criticized Japanese whaling, and called for it to cease. The research is conducted under the auspices of the Institute of Cetacean Research. The "Institute" receives its funding from the
whaling company Kyodo Senpaku
and from government subsidies. Kyodo Senpaku was formed in 1987 and conducts the collection, processing and selling wholesale of the whale specimens on behalf of the research institute. It sells roughly US$60 million worth of whale products each year. Conveniently for the Japanese whale killing government it is a requirement of International Whaling Commission membership to sell any meat taken from research catches. It is ironic that if a legislation existed for sharks that required the whole animal to be used it would help end the hideous practice of shark finning. Conversely if a whale killed for scientific research could not be landed and the meat could not be used the Japanese Government would most likely lose interest in the scientific studies and therefore might stop killing whales. Japan continues killing whales today exploiting the scientific research whale killing permit. Japan's scientific whaling program is killing whales in much larger numbers required by any genuine scientific test, they have never stopped whaling and they never will stop whaling unless a total ban is put in force to save the whale. It is transparently obvious that Japan is killing whales in the name of science to provide whale meat for Japanese restaurants and supermarkets. However, it was reported recently that the Japanese peoples appetite for whale meat has diminished to such a degree that whale meat is now stockpiled and is being used in pet food manufacture. An opinion poll in Japan carried out in June 2006 by the Gallup affiliate, the Nippon Research Centre, showed that 95% of Japanese never or rarely eat whale meat and more than 70 percent of Japanese do NOT support whaling in the Southern Ocean.
It is the Japanese Government who wants the return of commercial whaling not it’s people. Like a petulant child the Japanese Government will not be told what it can or cannot do and Japan, like a petulant child, will do any thing to get it’s own way...
Vote Buying for the Return to Commercial Whaling
The Japanese Fisheries Agency has carried out a program of "vote-buying" by offering aid to poorer countries on the condition that they join the International Whaling Commission and supporting Japanese positions on whaling. Specifically, Japan has given $320m in overseas aid to Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guinea, Morocco, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis and the Solomon Islands. These countries have voted with Japan in each International Whaling Commission vote since 2001 to end the moratorium and to return to commercial whaling. Please ask them to stop killing whales with their votes. Check out the stop whaling cyber activist page. Every year, when the International Whaling Commission meets, the Japanese delegation puts forward a motion to allow a return to commercial whaling. Over the moratorium years the balance of support on this issue has changed from a big majority in favor of keeping the ban to a very near win for the whale killers in June 2006. International Whaling Commission rules say that such a change could only be brought about with a 75% majority in favor. New Zealand and Austrailia had to put pressure on some of the small South Pacific nations not to vote with Japan on the reintroduction of commercial whaling.
A Final Word
It is easy to get caught up in the sustainability arguments that Japan and the other Pro whaling countries offer. The whole "Scientific Research program" is not looking for a cure to cancer, it's only purpose is to build statistics to argue that the whales have recovered enough in numbers for sustainable commercial whaling. Whales are highly sentient beings that should be left alone, regardless of the fact that some species are less endangered now as they were twenty years ago. If commercial whaling were allowed to return we would see the same disregard for sustainability and quotas as before the moratorium... Why? Because Japan does not see whales as anything more than, "Cockroaches of the Ocean" to quote an ignorant man... Japan Fisheries head Mr Komatsu.
This image above has been manipulated.
The image below has not.
Use the Whale Video link to see a moving Anti Whaling video and to read about why whales need to be protected.
By the time most people realized that whales were not oversize fish but warm-blooded, sentient mammals with large brains, sophisticated social structures and an elaborate language, it was nearly too late. An orgy of unrestrained whale hunting, had already sent many species to the brink of extinction. Environmental groups, lobbied hard to stop the whale killing. In 1986 they came close: the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to prohibit whaling, with a few exceptions; such as among native peoples in Alaska and Greenland, to preserve ancient food-gathering practices. The ban also left provision for whaling for scientific purposes. Japan, Iceland and Norway, in particular, have slaughtered tens of thousands of whales in the past 24 years, while the ban has been in place. Japan and Iceland have killed whales in the name of science, although the meat they take ends up on dinner tables. Norway doesn't even bother pretending and they have now been joined by Iceland in openly flouting the IWC's rules.