Sea Shepherd is a boat full of men and women dedicated to stopping the killing and selling of Whales. “Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.”
“I have been honored to serve the whales, dolphins, seals – and all the other creatures on this Earth. Their beauty, intelligence, strength, and spirit have inspired me. These beings have spoken to me, touched me, and I have been rewarded by friendship with many members of different species. If the whales survive and flourish, if the seals continue to live and give birth, and if I can contribute to ensuring their future prosperity, I will be forever happy.” – Paul Watson
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What you should know:
By the time most people realized that whales were not oversize fish but warm-blooded, sentient mammals with large brains, sophisticated social structures and an elaborate language, it was nearly too late. An orgy of unrestrained whale hunting, had already sent many species to the brink of extinction. Environmental groups, lobbied hard to stop the whale killing. In 1986 they came close: the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted to prohibit whaling, with a few exceptions; such as among native peoples in Alaska and Greenland, to preserve ancient food-gathering practices. The ban also left provision for whaling for scientific purposes. Japan, Iceland and Norway, in particular, have slaughtered tens of thousands of whales in the past 24 years, while the ban has been in place. Japan and Iceland have killed whales in the name of science, although the meat they take ends up on dinner tables. Norway doesn’t even bother pretending and they have now been joined by Iceland in openly flouting the IWC’s rules.
Japan is killing off the next generation of whales by slaughtering a large number of the pregnant sea giants, an environmental group says. According to a Japanese government report into its whale take in Antarctica over the summer, almost 60 per cent of all females killed were pregnant. The Humane Society International said the report shows 853 minke and 10 fin whales were slaughtered.
Of the 391 female minke whales killed, 224 were pregnant with 227 foetuses. Two of the fin whales were pregnant, carrying one foetus each. The Humane Society said this takes the overall death toll from Japan’s scientific whaling program in Antarctica over the summer to 1,092.
“Three further minke females killed were lactating and we must assume their calves perished without their mother’s milk,” Humane Society spokeswoman Nicola Beynon said. “What also has to be taken into account is that they’re killing the future generation at the same time, so the actual mortality is much higher,” she said.
Ms Beynon also said that around 90 per cent – or 786 minke whales and nine fin whales – of all the whales killed were taken from the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Two weeks ago, the full bench of the Federal Court ruled that the Humane Society could sue Japanese company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, with the aim of gaining an injunction preventing it from whaling within the sanctuary.
The Australian and New Zealand governments have ruled out taking legal action against Japan, Iceland and Norway to try to end the slaughter of thousands of whales each year. Last month, pro-whaling nations at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting successfully passed a motion condemning the IWC’s 20-year-old ban on commercial whaling.