Sea Shepherd and the Whales
The 2005 and 2006 Campaign to
Defend the Whales
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is currently making preparations to engage the Japanese whaling fleet in December 2005 and in January 2006 in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
This is our priority campaign for the year, and we are investing a great deal of time and resources to this campaign
The campaign will begin in December when our flagship the Farley Mowat will depart from Melbourne, Australia, on a course south to the coast of Antarctica. Our objective will be to hunt down the Japanese whaling fleet and harrass, block, obstruct, and intervene against their illegal whaling operations.
This will be our second attempt at searching for this fleet. The lesson we learned from our first attempt is that to be successful, we require aerial surveillance. This year we intend have air power and that is one of the priority goals for The Sea Sheaperds fundraising efforts.
The Japanese whale kill is illegal and we will be acting in accordance with the United Nations World Charter for Nature in our intervention.
The Japanese are violating the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. They are violating the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling. They are targeting endangered fin and humpback whales that are protected under the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna. (CITES). The Japanese are also in violation of the Australian laws protecting the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
Sea Shepherd is not going to the water of Antarctica to protest whaling. We are going there to intervene with the purpose of upholding international laws protecting the whales.
Are Whales in Danger of Extinction?
The Japanese claim on their website that their whale “research” does not pose any risk to the current status of whale populations.
This is, of course, not true. The Atlantic gray whale was exterminated by whalers, both the Eastern and Western populations. In the Pacific, the Western populations of grays have been reduced to only a few hundred. The Eastern population has recovered since 1911 when it was reduced to less than 1,000 animals.
It was whaling that has placed the blue, fin, humpback, bowhead, sperm, and right whales on the Endangered Species List.
Now, Japan is targeting whales that are still listed as endangered.
But whaling is not the only threat to the survival of the whales. Reduction in plankton populations in the Southern Oceans from ozone depletion and global warming is a significant factor. Pollution and collisions with ships are other major factors.
It is the position of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that all whaling activity should be abolished and that international conservation laws be enforced to prevent further predation by outlaw whaling nations like Japan, Iceland, and Norway.