As thousands of Londoners have shown interest in the whale in the Thames, we should remind ourselves that, at this time, seven Japanese ships are, it is estimated, making their biggest catch in 20 years – of over 900
whales. Sea Shepherd Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace have been
following these vessels, which operate in the Southern Ocean Whale
Sanctuary, in Australian waters.
A global moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986, but
Japan describes its programme, called JARPA -2, as “scientific”. This
replaces the JARPA-1 programme, which took 440 Antarctic minkes each season;
we understand that in two years’ time, JARPA-2 will expand to include
humpbacks, the favoured species for whale watchers and on the Red List of
Japan also runs a “scientific” whaling programme, at a different time of
year, in the north Pacific, called JARPN, which last year took 100 sei
whales, 100 minkes, 50 Bryde’s whales and five sperm whales.
It would be very helpful if all this concern for one disoriented whale could
be directed towards the protection of those many creatures of the same
species being slaughtered now in what should be their sanctuary.
Marian Hussenbux. Quaker Concern for Animals.