Just like Japan's hunt in the Southern Ocean earlier this year, the spring whaling hunt in the Northwestern Pacific resulted in record law numbers, according to the country's Fisheries Agency. This time, bad weather, rather than "overzealous" activists are to be blamed.
As Japan's whaling industry refuses to abandon its annual hunts, spending millions of dollars on fuel and equipment, not to mention ship repairs after collisions with environmental extremist group Sea Shepherd, the Japanese public's interest in eating whale meat also refuses to reverse its steady decline. Now the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) is attempting to improve the situation by advertising whale meat as "a nutritious food that enhances physical strength and reduces fatigue."
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nation’s highest court, has announced that it will proceed with public hearings regarding Australia’s case against Japan’s annual whaling hunt in Antarctic waters. The case was brought before UN’s highest judicial organ in May 2010, as Australia questioned Japan’s continuing large-scale whaling program where it claims that the Asian nation is in breach of international conventions.
The Institute of Cetacean Research, the managing government agency for Japanese whaling activities, has criticized the Australian government for tolerating the activities of hardline conservationists that have interfered with and caused damage to its whaling fleet. They cited the federal government being a safe harbor for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the number one enemy of the annual whale hunt initiated by the Japanese government for "research" purposes.
According to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry of Japan, this year was a record low for the whaling fleet, with only 103 Antarctic minke whales and no fin whales caught for its "research whaling" program. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi blames the "unforgivable sabotage" by activists, particularly by the militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Japan’s whaling fleet has seemingly made its way out of the Antarctic Ocean whale sanctuary and looks to be heading home with a record low haul, the activist environmental group Sea Shepherd revealed. Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said on Saturday that this year his group’s “enormously successful” harassment campaign of Japan’s annual whale hunt will result in the whalers’ lowest haul in history, with “no more than 75″ whales harvested.
After the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) released a video over the weekend countering the claims of Japan’s Institute of Cetecean Research (ICR) that it was the conservationist group that was to be faulted for the altercation that happened on February 25, the ICR has released today its own video and statement to support its earlier claim. In the statement, the ICR described the actions of the SSCS as “malicious and unacceptable.”
After a collision in the Southern Ocean between Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships and a Japanese whaling vessel, the conservation group has made public new footage of the Nisshin Maru pushing the Bob Barker into a South Korean fuel tanker.
Paul Watson, the infamous leader of the environmental extremist group Sea Shepherd, is once again quick to point the finger at anyone and anything other than himself, has accused Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard of "green lighting" Japan's whale hunts with her failure to protect life and property within her nation's borders. Following the collisions between Japan's fleet and the activists' ships this week, Gillard responded to Watson's calls for naval assistance by questioning when Australia was given the role of policing the world's oceans.
Following Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson’s declaration that Japan will likely stop hunting for the remainder of the season after a clash between the two sides saw a temporary suspension in refueling, Japan made assurances that it will continue its whale hunt in the Southern Ocean. An official at Japan's Fisheries Agency told Agence France-Presse, “We are keeping our whaling program,” and denied that the collision with Sea Shepherd vessels permanently suspended the hunt for this season.