WORLD CONDEMS JAPAN’s WHALE HUNT

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WORLD CONDEMS JAPAN’s WHALE HUNT

 user 2007-11-20 at 3:07:00 pm Views: 65
  • #20995

    Japan whale expedition condemned
    The
    UK, Australia and New Zealand have sharply criticised Japan for the
    launch of its largest ever whaling expedition.The hunting fleet has
    instructions to kill up to 1,000 whales. Humpback whales will be hunted
    for the first time in over 40 years.Japan says the hunt is for research
    purposes and that numbers are too small to have a major impact on
    populations.New Zealand PM Helen Clark said this claim was “deception”
    and that the whalers should not have left port.The Japanese whaling
    fleet set sail on its five-month mission from the southern port of
    Shimonoseki on Sunday.As well as up to 900 minke whales and 50 fin
    whales, it will kill up to 50 humpback whales for the first time since
    a moratorium was introduced in 1963.The species had been hunted almost
    to extinction before the ban.

    ‘Guise and deception’
    Mrs Clark
    told local media it would be better if the whaling fleet had stayed at
    homeShe criticised “the guise, the deception, the claim that it is
    scientific whaling when they want to take 1,000 whales”.MRs Clark added
    that it would be difficult for New Zealand to offer help if any of the
    ships got into trouble at sea.The Australian government has also
    expressed disapproval, saying it is “deeply disappointed” by the launch
    of the expedition.Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said there was no
    evidence of Japan producing any data from its research.”Scientific
    whaling is a phrase they use to camouflage the fact that they still
    indulge in whaling,” he said.He said he had asked to see the Japanese
    ambassador but he ruled out deploying military defence forces, saying
    that Australia would not go to war with Japan over the issue.His
    comments followed a suggestion by the opposition Labor party that they
    would send the Australian navy to track the fleet if they were elected
    in the imminent elections.

    Diplomatic action
    Britain has said
    it is considering high-level diplomatic action to protest against the
    hunt.A spokeswoman from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
    Affairs (Defra) said the government believes the humpback hunt is
    unnecessary and that it has “serious reservations as to its scientific
    value”.”We are committed to maintaining the moratorium on commercial
    whaling and will oppose all efforts by Japan to undermine this with
    so-called scientific whaling,” she said.The hunt has drawn strong
    opposition from environmental and conservation groups.Greenpeace is
    hoping to locate the fleet in order to shoot video footage, but claims
    the ships have turned off their identification equipment, making them
    hard to find.The more radical Sea Shepherd group said its activists
    will attempt to intercept the ships once the hunt is under way.The
    expedition is scheduled to run until mid-April 2008.

    US joins critics of Japan whaling
    The US has added its voice to international criticism of Japan’s largest-ever whaling expedition.
    The
    UK, Australia and New Zealand have already urged Japan to call off this
    year’s hunt, which will target humpback whales for the first time in
    decades.Japan says the hunt is for scientific purposes and that the
    number of whales to be killed is too small to have a major impact on
    populationsUS officials say non-lethal techniques could achieve the
    same research goalsThe Japanese whaling fleet set sail on its
    five-month mission from the southern port of Shimonoseki on Sunday.It
    has instructions to kill up to 1,000 whales.As well as up to 900 minke
    whales and 50 fin whales, it will kill up to 50 humpback whales for the
    first time since a moratorium was introduced in the mid-1960s.The
    species had been hunted almost to extinction before the ban.

    ‘Guise and deception’
    It
    was especially important that the Japanese whalers not kill humpback
    and fin whales, said state department spokesman Sean McCormack.”While
    recognising Japan’s legal rights, under the Whaling Convention, to
    conduct this hunt, we note that non-lethal research techniques are
    available to provide almost all relevant data on whale populations,” he
    said.

    New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen Clark said it would be
    better if the whaling fleet had stayed at home.She criticised “the
    guise, the deception, the claim that it is scientific whaling when they
    want to take 1,000 whales”Mrs Clark added that it would be difficult
    for New Zealand to offer help if any of the ships got into trouble at
    sea.The Australian government has also expressed disapproval, saying it
    is “deeply disappointed” by the launch of the expedition.Foreign
    Minister Alexander Downer said there was no evidence of Japan producing
    any data from its research.He said he had asked to see the Japanese
    ambassador but he ruled out deploying military defence forces, saying
    that Australia would not go to war with Japan over the issue.His
    comments followed a suggestion by the opposition Labor party that they
    would send the Australian navy to track the fleet if they were elected
    in the imminent elections.

    Diplomatic action
    Britain has said it is considering high-level diplomatic action to protest against the hunt.

    A
    UK government spokeswoman said the humpback hunt was unnecessary and
    that it has “serious reservations as to its scientific value”.”We are
    committed to maintaining the moratorium on commercial whaling and will
    oppose all efforts by Japan to undermine this with so-called scientific
    whaling,” she said.The hunt has drawn strong opposition from
    environmental and conservation groups.Greenpeace is hoping to locate
    the fleet in order to shoot video footage, but claims the ships have
    turned off their identification equipment, making them hard to find.The
    more radical Sea Shepherd group said its activists will attempt to
    intercept the ships.The expedition is scheduled to run until mid-April
    2008.