Back in July of 2006, Japan’s Institute of Cetacean “Research” released the following:
ADULT FEMALE MINKES NEARLY ALL PREGNANT
A scientific paper from Japan’s Antarctic research program shows that almost 95 percent of adult Antarctic minke females are pregnant during the summer feeding months in the Southern Ocean.
Research from the program has shown that the Antarctic minke population has a 93.8 percent pregnancy rate among adult female minke whales.
“This is very significant because it demonstrates the population is robust,” the Director-General of the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Dr Hiroshi Hatanaka, said today. “The Antarctic minke whale reproduces consistently every year. Such high productivity demonstrates that the population is certainly well able to sustain a commercial hunt.”
“The sampling of pregnant whales are taken into account under the JARPA II research program, in line with the International Whaling Commission’s Revised Management Procedure, which is a risk-averse method for calculating sustainable catch quotas,” Dr Hatanaka said.
In 1990, the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee agreed an abundance estimate of 760,000 Antarctic minke whales. That figure is currently under review but even if the abundance estimate was halved, the taking of 853 minke whales poses no risk to the stock.
“The world is realising that there is no need or reason to prevent sustainable commercial whaling in the Antarctic under IWC management procedure and Australia may find itself standing alone while the rest of world moves on,” Dr Hatanaka said.
For further information contact ICR spokespeople:
Glenn Inwood , +64 21 498 010
Gabriel Gomez +81 3 3536 8227
In the twisted logic of the Japanese researchers, this means that because the whales are pregnant the population is in good shape and therefore it is fine to keep killing the whales. And true to form they have continued to slaughter hundreds of pregnant whales in the official Marine Sanctuary of the Antarctic every year. They do this despite international protest. Despite condemnation by world governments. And, until last year, despite the activities of protesters.
However, in 2011, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society forced the Japanese whalers to quit their activities and steam back to Japan without their full quota of over 900 whales.
This year, Japan took 30 million dollars (targeted for earthquake/tsunami relief), outfitted extra patrol boats, and returned to the Southern Ocean in their grisly quest, hoping that protesters would not be able to interfere. But a few days ago three Australian men boarded one of the Japanese vessels, causing an international uproar when they were detained by the Japanese. Although the Japanese considered keeping the men on board until the boat returned to Japan, the men started a hunger strike and the Australian government was able to intervene on their behalf.
Although the Prime Minister of Australia has dispatched the Ocean Protector, a ship which is usually dedicated to customs issues, to rendezvous with the Japanese boat the Shonan Mauru 2 and take the three Australians who were detained there back to Australia, the Prime Minister doesn’t sanction the behavior of the activists yet offers encouraging words. After acknowledging that Japan’s whaling practices are unconscionable, this statement from Prime Minister Gillard’s office included: “The best way to stop whaling once and for all is through our court action in the ICJ (International Court of Justice). The ICJ is part of the United Nations.
Slight problem with that though – notice who is president of the ICJ:
- Hisashi Owada (Japan)
- Peter Tomka (Slovakia)
- Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone)
- Bruno Simma (Germany)
- Ronny Abraham (France)
- Kenneth Keith (New Zealand)
- Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor (Mexico)
- Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)
- Leonid Skotnikov (Russian Federation)
- Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)
- Abdulqawa Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)
- Christopher Greenwood (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
- Xue Hanqin (China)
- Joan E. Donoghue (United States of America)
- Philippe Couvreur (Belgium)
By putting themselves in harm’s way, those three Australian protesters have shown the world the important role that Australia has in this conflict, (the Japanese go through Australia’s marine territory) and the world may now look to that nation to bring the Japanese’ invasion of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary to an end.
Japan pretends that it is doing ‘research’ on these whales (see the cow/whale experiment, in which the researchers crossed cows and whales in petri dishes, a fine example of their research), but in reality it is a barbaric display of power. And by the way, Australia will never “find themselves alone” – more likely it will be Japan.
For more information, see:
Anti-whaling Protesters Are Imprisoned on Japanese Ship as it Pursues Sea Shepherd Boat
Japan Whaling to Resume, Violence Is Feared
Why Japan Is Preparing to Battle Over Whaling – Their Other Agenda