Greenpeace Renews its Calls on Japan to Stop Continued Support of Whaling

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tokyo-(PanOrient News) Greenpeace renewed its campaign against Japan’s Antarctic whaling after the Japanese fleet returned to port this morning, calling on the Japanese government to end subsidies of all whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.

The Japanese Fisheries Agency today said Nisshin Maru and three other vessels caught 267 whales in total, far below their target, due to bad weather and interference from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a U.S.-based anti-whaling group.

Japan officially halted commercial whaling in line with an international moratorium but since 1987 has continued to hunt them for what they say are scientific research purposes.

A statement by Greenpeace Japan Executive Director Junichi Sato said “Japan’s disgraced whaling fleet has once again returned to Japan from its shameful, taxpayer-funded hunt in the Southern Ocean".

"The fleet killed 267 whales for a market that does not exist, and it only managed to escape its mounting debts this season by appallingly siphoning off US$30 million in taxpayer money away from the victims of the tragic March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster," the Greenpeace statement added.

The IWC has reportedly stated that the data from Japan’s so-called “research” is both unneeded and unwanted, and has repeatedly asked for its whaling programme to be ended.

“The expeditions make no scientific sense, and whaling company executives have admitted that the sales of whale meat cannot cover the costs of the whaling programme so they do not make any economic sense either,” said Sato. “The simple truth is the market for whale meat in Japan is collapsing and the industry cannot even remotely cover its costs, much less justify the billions of yen being squandered on it.”

“The economy is tanking, hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to rebuild their lives and protect their families from radiation: enough is enough. There are far more important things to be spending public money on,” said Sato. “Greenpeace

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation opposed to commercial whaling in all of the world’s oceans.

Photo: The hull of the Japanese whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, stained by red paint.

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