Tuesday, July 13, 2010
On May 31, 2010, Australia, which is Japan’s major trading partner, took the issue of Japanese whale hunting to court.
It filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice, in The Hague because years diplomatic efforts have led nowhere.
The issue is that Japan continues to kill whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which is an area dedicated to the preservation of global whale populations.
Japan claims that its whaling is done for scientific purposes and therefore is exempted by the International Whaling Commission article VIII, which allows killing whales for scientific studies.
Australia says that this barbaric killing is just a loophole that they have found in the IWCs bylaws to continue killing whales on a commercial basis disguised as scientific research.
On July 9, 2010, Japan deported a New Zealand activist , Peter Bethune aged 45, convicted of assault and obstruction after he clambered aboard a Japanese whaler in an attempt to stop the annual Japanese whale hunt.
Last February, Bethune, forcibly boarded the ship in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean and was detained aboard the ship and arrested when it returned to Japan. There, a court of law sentenced him to two years, but suspended the sentence.
Bethune was convicted of several offenses such as throwing bottles of rancid butter at the Japanese ships, trespassing, vandalism and, in my opinion the clincher, possession of a knife, which he used to slash a net that had been placed around the vessel.
Violence is not the solution, whaling should be stopped, but not with violence.
In the meantime, the 62nd annual meeting of the IWC took place at Agadir, Morocco, but it ended without reaching a consensus on a 10-year peace plan. So, despite the official statement by the IWC that: "The Commission […] noted that the intense work over the last two years had led to increased understanding of the different views held and an improved atmosphere of trust. It agreed to a pause in its work on this topic to allow time for reflection until the 2011 Annual Meeting".
During the meeting, delegates of IWC had been discussing whether to maintain a 24-year-old moratorium on commercial whaling or to allow the three countries (Japan, Norway and Iceland) to resume commercial whaling but at significantly lower levels and under tight monitoring.
Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©