Who knew that when South Park made their episode on Japanese’s hate for whales, they weren’t really exaggerating! We saw this disturbing action last year as well, and now the Japanese whalers have again returned to port after killing 333 minke whales. Since 1986, the entire world has banned the hunting of whales, with no effect on Japan who claims that the killings are being done for “scientific research.”
“The purpose of this research is to carry out a detailed calculation of the catch limit of minke whales and study the structure and dynamics of the ecological system in the Antarctic Ocean.” Based on the fleet’s most recent expedition to the Southern Ocean, it concluded: “Since a majority of both the males and females taken were mature, this indicates that the species is reproducing healthily.”
What puzzles the world is why these Japanese “scientists” had to butcher 333 minke whales in the past few months to conduct the study. Another 333 whales were taken the year before as well, as part of a project by Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research called NEWREP-A (New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean), which has sanctioned killing 4,000 minke whales over the course of 12 years, thus the number 333.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) have called this claim utter nonsense, saying that the Japanese are actually killing them only to harvest whale meat. The Australian government has also commented on the monstrosity, stating:
“[We are] deeply disappointed that Japan has decided to return to the Southern Ocean this summer to undertake so-called ‘scientific’ whaling…Australia is opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling. It is not necessary to kill whales in order to study them.”
What makes the research motives even more doubtful is the fact that these whales have been listed by the IUCN Red List as a species of Least Concern. And the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission has estimated their population to be around a half million, which means that Minke whales are doing great and doesn’t actually require any scientific research. But that doesn’t stop the Japanese whalers from their murderous fetish.
Anti-whaling activist organization Sea Shepherd, who has been keeping track of the Japanese whaling activities issued a statement today,
“We were aware of the challenges from the outset of the campaign—the doubling of the whaling area and the reduced quota that would be easier to reach—but we did our best despite the odds because it was the right thing to do.”
“And—as usual—we did it alone. It is a reminder that the needless slaughter of marine life will continue unless governments stop making hollow statements of disapproval and start taking action to hold Japan accountable.”
It seems like a lost cause though, especially considering how we live in a world of “alternate facts” and people negating all evidence to deny phenomenon like global warming. But last year, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature did aspire to revise the process for whaling and make the selling of whale meat tougher, giving all of us a glimmer of hope.
Let’s just hope we can legally out-manoeuvre the Japanese, otherwise there no sight of putting a stop to their “scientific” murder.