Why it’s time to save the whales, again

Posted by Willie — 21 June 2010 at 10:11am - Comments
Sperm whale breaching © Greenpeace/Paul Hilton

Next week, our governments will get together in Agadir, Morocco, to talk whales. It’s the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting. And this year, the main topic of conversation will be the IWC itself.

In reality, this is a testing time for the whales, and in many ways we need to make sure we save them all over again. Way back in the 80s when a moratorium, or ban, on commercial whaling was agreed, many countries had already stopped whaling. As the official catch figures show, by the time the ban came into force in 1987 commercial whaling was reduced to practically zero.

Japan's sordid vote-buying on whaling exposed

Posted by Willie — 14 June 2010 at 4:20pm - Comments

Votes to support whaling are being bought by Japan in return for aid donations

So, what's your price to sell out the whales?

Some brown envelopes stuffed with cash? A nice big cheque for development aid? All-expenses paid trips to exotic locations? Or some dubious entertainment, including 'good girls'?

Welcome, dear friends, to the world of international diplomacy, Japanese government style. Yesterday, in a shocking expose, the Sunday Times showed the tawdry reality of Japan's vote-buying tactics to undermine the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Using undercover reporters, they managed to elicit scandalous accounts of just what the government of Japan offers to get the support of developing nations in the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Africa.

On World Oceans Day, the Tokyo Two urgently need your help

Posted by jamie — 8 June 2010 at 12:30pm - Comments

The Tokyo Two trial has just come to end in Japan today with the prosecutor asking the judge to sentence defendants Junichi and Toru to 18 months in jail. This would be the longest jail term for any Greenpeace activist in the organisation's 40 year history.

As you may know, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki - better known as the Tokyo Two - are on trial for intercepting a box of whale meat as part of an investigation into an embezzlement ring within Japan's taxpayer-funded 'research' whaling programme.

The Japanese government subsidises the loss-making whaling programme to the tune of US$5 million a year, making the embezzlement of whale meat exposed by Junichi and Toru a significant crime. But instead of the criminals behind the embezzlement facing justice, it's the Toyko Two who find themselves in the dock.

Whaling: whose side are EU on?

Posted by Willie — 4 June 2010 at 2:15pm - Comments

By seeking to compromise, the EU may actually be sanctioning commercial whaling. Whale fail!

Ask anyone who the bad guys are on fish and whales. The resounding answer will most probably start with the letter 'J' and end in 'apan'.

And with good reason. Not only is the Japanese government's recent record on (and defence of) commercial whaling scandalous, but as huge consumers of seafood Japan plays a major role in driving the fishing industry worldwide. Like many developed nations, Japan has long since outgrown its ability to depend on local fish in its own waters, so it also has a distant-water fleet scooping up seafood around the globe.

Tokyo Two trial: stage two

Posted by jossc — 8 March 2010 at 4:57pm - Comments

Tension is rising as round two of the Tokyo Two trial starts today in Aomori, Japan, where Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki are on trial in Japan for their role in exposing major corruption in the government funded whaling industry. This week they get to give evidence for the first time, and the whistleblower who alerted them to the embezlement scandal will also take the stand. Watch the video above for an update on the story so far...

IWC 2009 - whale conservation bloc not playing its hand

Posted by jossc — 24 June 2009 at 2:02pm - Comments

Sara Holden, our International whales campaign coordinator, blogs from the 61st International Whaling Conference in Madeira, Portugal. Even though for the first time in years the anti-whaling nations have a decent majority on the IWC, genuine protection for whales still remains low on the agenda.

As metaphors go, how about this? The IWC meeting is being held in a casino - and anyone betting on a good outcome for the whales would be unlikely to win. Equally aprt, just a few minutes before the opening of the 61st International Whaling Commission meeting, a large rat was seen scuttling through the hotel and out the door. Not a bad illustration of what's going on here.

Iceland government refuses to halt return to whaling

Last edited 18 February 2009 at 5:13pm
18 February, 2009

The Icelandic government today faced criticism from environmentalists after refusing to reverse a last-day decision by the previous administration to recommence commercial whaling.

On his last day in office, former fisheries minister Einar Gudfinsson approved a quota of 100 minke whales and 150 endangered fin whales, to be hunted each year for five years.

The new minister, Steingrmur Sigfusson, did not repeal the decision, but did say that whalers should not automatically expect a quota after 2009.

World's whales and dolphins may face growing sonic threat

Posted by Willie — 12 June 2008 at 2:06pm - Comments

A dead dolphin - the victim of bycatch - lying on a beach

In Chile, the world's scientists are already meeting in advance of the 60th International Whaling Commission (IWC), which will be held there in late June. At this time of year, the eyes of the world turn to the deadlocked struggle between pro-conservation and pro-whaling countries as they clash over the future of whaling at the IWC meetings. And recent events have not been going well for the whalers - in recent weeks we have seen just how desperate the pro-whaling nations are to play down not only the recent scandal of stolen whale meat in Japan, but also the saga of exporting whale meat from Iceland and Norway. Both stories highlight the extent to which the whalers are routinely flouting not only international opinion but also the global ban on commercial whaling and the trading of whale meat.

Esperanza back in Tasmania after successful anti-whaling tour

Posted by jossc — 6 February 2008 at 5:26pm - Comments

Esperanza crew members watch as the ship moors at Hobart  after the 2008 Southern Ocean tour

Yesterday at 3pm local time the Esperanza departed from Hobart in Tasmania, Australia bringing to a close the 2007/2008 Southern Ocean Expedition. The ship had arrived on Sunday evening to a great welcome from the people of Hobart, including the mayor and a number of councillors.

After spending close to two months tracking the Japanese whaling fleet, Esperanza was forced to leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary last week when her fuel supply started to run out. The sanctuary had remained fatality free for the whales during the previous fortnight while the Espy chased the factory whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, across 5,000 miles of the Southern Ocean.

Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

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