Japanese Whaling Fleet Bound for International Whale Sanctuary

Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Shimonoseki, Japan
Defying international criticism and a global ban on commercial whaling, the Government of Japan today launched a fleet of six whaling boats to conduct whaling activities in an international whale sanctuary around Antarctica.  According to IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) and Japanese government officials, Japan will kill up to 935 minke whales and ten fin whales during the next six months as part of its whaling program. Last year Japan killed 440 whales in the sanctuary.
IFAW and other marine conservationists worldwide criticized today’s move, which marks a sharp escalation in Japan’s whaling activities. Japan’s new, self-allocated whaling quota will double the number of whales it kills each year in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, established by the IWC in 1994. Japan’s whaling has been conducted under the guise of science, since the adoption of a global moratorium on commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986. 

“Japan’s attempt to dress up its commercial whaling as science is an insult to modern science, said Dr. Joth Singh, IFAW Director of Wildlife and Habitat.  “It’s time for the Japanese Government to respect the rest of the world,” said Dr. Singh.  It’s time to stop whaling.”

Forty-one IWC resolutions criticizing Japan’s whaling have been passed by majority vote over the past 18 years including this year’s meeting held in Ulsan, Korea last June.
 
“Diplomacy has apparently failed,” said Darren Kindleysides, IFAW Marine Campaigner.  “The international community must take immediate action to stop the mass killing of these magnificent creatures in the name of science.”

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