Enough whales for watching and eating...
So says Japan's commissioner to the International Whaling Commission and director-general of the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo Minoru Morimoto. In an article in todays Sydney Morning Herald, he reveals the real reason for his Government’s whaling program in the Southern Ocean.
Research in other countries providing information on whale's life history, including population trends has made it clear - you don’t need to kill whales to study them. Of course, you do need to kill whales to eat them and that is the admission Morimoto is actually making.
It is indeed a busy day for whales in the Australian media with the comments by Morimoto, a win in the Australian Federal Court to a case brought by the Humane Society International (HSI) against the company that owns the Japanese whaling fleet and two activists currently being detained aboard a Japanese whaling vessel.
IFAW welcome this week's judgment but The Government of Japan does not recognize Australia’s claim to Antarctic waters and so the sad fact is that they and their whaling arm, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, will ignore the ruling of the Australian court. If there is to be a permanent end to whaling in the Antarctic then the burden for action rests with the Australian Government and other conservation minded Governments worldwide to challenge the Government of Japan through international courts.
An excellent article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald by Don Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University college of law and chair of the Sydney Panel of Independent International Legal Experts assessing Japan's scientific whaling program.
As for the activists claims that they were mistreated by the Japanese whalers, the Australian Federal Police will be investigating and they have been returned to the Steve Irwin by the Australian customs vessel the Ocean Viking.