Southern Ocean Violence Must Stop

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Sydney, Australia
The violent and unlawful deaths of hundreds of whales occurring now in the Southern Ocean could have been prevented, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org).
“While protesters and whalers clash, Japan’s “scientific” whaling program has already inflicted prolonged painful deaths on hundreds of whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary,” said Darren Kindleysides, IFAW Campaigns Manager.
 
“Few whales die instantly by the harpoon - death can take up to half an hour and can involve drowning as the whale is held underwater.  
 
“This is a blatant violation of international law and could have been prevented if anti-whaling governments had taken action through the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS),” Mr Kindleysides said.
 
Legal opinion obtained by IFAW demonstrates that anti-whaling governments like New Zealand and Australia have firm legal arguments to request Provisional Measures - effectively an injunction that could halt the program within two weeks of an application being lodged with the tribunal.
 
“In the twenty years of so-called scientific research, Japan has killed almost 10,000 whales.
 
“Over the next two years, Japan intends to hunt an additional 40 fin whales and 50 humpback whales – a significant proportion of already fragile populations. It is also a potential threat to Australia’s thriving 300 million dollar whale watching industry,” Mr Kindleysides said.

IFAW urges the Australian Government to call on the Japanese Government to observe international law and cease killing whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.
 
IFAW opposes commercial whaling on the grounds of cruelty, and because it undermines decades of critical conservation efforts, makes no economic sense, and produces products that nobody needs. IFAW encourages responsible whale watching around the world as a humane and sustainable alternative to commercial whale hunting. To learn more, visit www.ifaw.org today.

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Experts

Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Isabel McCrea, Regional Director, Oceania
Regional Director, Oceania
IFAW Japan Representative
IFAW Japan Representative
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Whales
Robbie Marsland, Regional Director, United Kingdom
Regional Director, United Kingdom