The Whale’s Voice: Whalers flout demand & Norway establishes whaling quota as activists angered


Whalers flout demand

Japanese whaling fleet vessel Yushin Maru No. 3 sprays water cannons at a Sea Shepherd vessel last year.Japanese whaling fleet vessel Yushin Maru No. 3 sprays water cannons at a Sea Shepherd vessel last year. Photo: Reuters

JAPAN’S whalers are said to have made a fresh incursion into Australian waters, in defiance of a federal government demand that they steer clear.

The whaling fleet’s two pursuit ships were identified by Sea Shepherd activists off the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island yesterday.

Before their arrival, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and Environment Minister Tony Burke bluntly warned the Japanese government against allowing its whaling fleet to enter Australia’s exclusive economic zone at Macquarie.

They said that the government strongly objected to whaling vessels either passing through the 200-nautical mile zone, or the 12-mile limit of Australian territorial seas.

But Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson said a helicopter flight from his ship, the Steve Irwin, revealed harpoon ship Yushin Maru No. 3 was 11.2 nautical miles off the eastern shore of Macquarie, and the security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 was 14 nautical miles off the western side.

“I don’t think they take the Australian government too seriously,” Mr Watson said.

Source: Environment

Norway establishes whaling quota as activists angered

An anti-whaling protest.

CAIRO: Animal rights activists and conservationists are angered at Norway’s continued whaling. They are even more frustrated at the country’s setting of 1,286 minke whales for 2012, which was announced by the Scandinavian country’s minister for fisheries and coastal affairs on Friday.

The quota was the same as in 2011, Lisbeth Berg Hansen said.

Last year, 533 minke whales were caught in Norwegian waters.

Campaigns against whaling have picked up steam in recent years, a large part of that is due to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s continued battle against whalers and Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, which documents their efforts against Japanese whalers in the Antarctic Ocean.

But in Norway, there is also a growing push against what is largely a traditional and cultural practice.

Activist and blogger Lennart Johansen, based in Bergen, told that he believes the hunt is “part of people’s belief in tradition, but it is a horrible practice that in today’s world is not needed.”

He likened the continued whaling to the struggle for children’s rights and women’s rights in the country. “We fought for better rights a long time back when many people thought it was tradition for men to be equal. Why not the same for animals? Not to mention it is hurting ecosystems and marine life in general.”

The minister said the quota was viable and had been set in relation to estimates of the total minke whale population conducted by the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Norway has since 1986 allowed the hunting of minke whales, the smallest of the great whales. The whales can grow up to 11 meters long and weigh around 8 tons.

Source: Bikyamasr



~ by FSVSF Admin on 27 February, 2012.

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