Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Japan Moves In For The Kill As Anti-Whaling Activists Vow Big Operation Next Year

by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Feb 1, 2008
Japanese harpoonists killed five whales in one day after protesters who had halted the hunt in Antarctic waters were forced to return to port to refuel, an Australian report said Friday.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith had raised the issue and voiced his "disappointment" during a face-to-face meeting with his counterpart in Tokyo late Thursday, his spokesman said.

The meeting came shortly after reports that the whalers were hunting again after low fuel forced Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships to abandon their protests.

Officers aboard the Australian customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, witnessed the killing of the whales and took video evidence of the slaughter, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The Australian government dispatched the Oceanic Viking to gather evidence for a possible international legal challenge to end Japan's whaling programme.

Amid the diplomatic tension over whaling, Smith flew to Tokyo on Thursday for a two-day visit and later met with Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura.

"Mr. Smith expressed disappointment that whaling had resumed in the Southern Ocean, and conveyed the Australian government's strongly-held view that Japan's whaling programme should cease," the foreign ministry spokesman said.

"During the meeting the two countries have agreed to disagree on this issue."

Japan, which uses a loophole in a 1986 global whaling moratorium that allows lethal research, aims to slaughter about 1,000 whales this year despite strong opposition from Western countries and environmental groups.

"Japan's position is that this is research based on science and is a completely legal activity," Komura was quoted as telling Smith. "What's important is to handle this issue without getting emotional."

Harassment of the Japanese fleet by Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships had halted the killing of whales from about the middle of last month.

Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson has said he hopes to return to the fray on the ship the Steve Irwin in about 10 days and to stop the Japanese killing whales for another three to four weeks.

In Tokyo, Japan's Fisheries Agency said it would not disclose the actions of its fleet.

"The government of Japan has decided not to disclose the location of our ship or whether we have restarted our activities for the security of our crew, especially after Sea Shepherd has said on its website it will relaunch attacks," Hideki Moronuki, the head of the whaling division, told AFP.

earlier related report
Anti-whalers vow bigger Antarctic presence next year
Militant environmental activists on Saturday vowed to increase their presence in the Southern Ocean next year in their bid to prevent Japanese whalers from killing the giant mammals.

Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel the Steve Irwin, said his ship had stopped the Japanese fleet from killing whales for three to four weeks but was now forced to return to port to refuel.

Next year he wants to bring two ships into the Antarctic waters.

"We're aiming to come back next year with two ships which will be staggered, so they'll work as a tag team -- once one ship returns to port to refuel, the other ship can be out chasing the fleet," he said.

"The best way to stop their criminal action -- because that's what this senseless slaughter is, criminal -- is to keep on them.

"It's going to be very expensive but it will be worth it."

Japan, which uses a loophole in a 1986 global whaling moratorium that allows lethal research, aims to slaughter about 1,000 whales this year despite strong opposition from Western countries and environmental groups.

Watson said the Japanese had not killed any whales while being tagged by the Steve Irwin and he was satisfied he would be able to prevent them from killing for seven weeks by the time the hunt was over.

"Our actions are going to have a significant impact on the Japanese quota," he told Australian Associated Press.

Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin, along with the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza, pulled out of the pursuit this week to head back to port to refuel.

The Japanese reportedly began killing whales soon after, prompting Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith to voice his "disappointment" during a meeting with his counterpart in Tokyo late Thursday.

The Sea Shepherd made international headlines last month when two of its activists boarded one of the Japanese ships and were later removed by an Australian Customs boat -- a tactic Watson said could be repeated.

"The circumstances dictate the tactics we use, but boarding one of their ships again might be a possibility," he said.

"By far the most effective method is to keep chasing the fleet. They cannot do anything while we are following them and getting in their way."

The Steve Irwin arrived in Melbourne on Saturday, greeted by about 100 people who cheered, waved and whistled as the ship sailed into Victoria Harbour.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Follow the Whaling Debate

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Whale militants say out of fuel to chase Japanese
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 28, 2008
Militant environmentalists who have halted Japan's whaling in the Antarctic Ocean said Monday they were set to return to shore as they were running out of fuel.

  • NC-Based Piedmont Triad Ambulance And Rescue Deploys Next Gen Wireless Network
  • Millions struggle for tickets as China battles weather
  • Beijing's disaster response too little, too late: travellers
  • Winter Freeze Sends Shockwaves Through China As Cash And More Run Short

  • Ancient Climate Secrets Raised From Ocean Depths
  • Microbes As Climate Engineers
  • Economists Help Climate Scientists To Improve Global Warming Forecasts
  • When Accounting For The Global Nitrogen Budget Do Not Forget Fish

  • Indonesia To Develop New EO Satellite
  • Russia To Launch Space Project To Monitor The Arctic In 2010
  • New Radar Satellite Technique Sheds Light On Ocean Current Dynamics
  • Radical New Lab Fights Disease Using Satellites

  • Analysis: China beats West in Africa
  • Analysis: Turkey embraces wind power
  • Analysis: Iraq oil deals drawing near
  • Analysis: Shell to shut again in Nigeria

  • Globe-Trotting Black Rat Genes Reveal Spread Of Humans And Diseases
  • Risk of meningitis epidemic in Burkina Faso increases
  • Analysis: NATO begins pandemic monitoring
  • China reports outbreak of bird flu in Tibet

  • Telepathic Genes
  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Researchers Race Against Time To Save Tasmanian Devils
  • Rare dolphin 'beaten to death' in Bangladesh
  • Nonlinear Ecosystem Response Points To Environmental Solutions

  • New York City Uses Mobile GPS From AT and T and TeleNav To Help Keep City Clean
  • Italy pledges to honour Naples rubbish plan after EU ultimatum
  • EU threatens Italy with court action over rubbish crisis
  • Protecting The Alps From Traffic Noise And Air Pollution

  • Blue-Eyed Humans Have A Single, Common Ancestor
  • Brain Connections Strengthen During Waking Hours And Weaken During Sleep
  • Fueling And Feeding Bigfoot
  • Higher China fines for stars breaking one-child rule: state media

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement