Patrick Ramage / International Fund for Animal Welfare – 2015-11-27 20:16:50
ACTION ALERT: Speak Out against Japan’s War on Whales
Japan’s Antarctic Whaling Fleet Is Due to Set Sail Any Day Now
Patrick Ramage / International Fund for Animal Welfare
(November 26, 2015) — Whales in the Southern Ocean have been safe from Japanese harpoons for the last year. But that could change in just a matter of days.
I need you to urge President Obama to speak out against Japan’s intention to resume killing whales in the Southern Ocean.
In March 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was illegal and not for scientific purposes, as Japan has long claimed.
And so, for the past year, and for the first time in over 100 years, whales in the Southern Ocean were free from the whalers’ harpoons. But now Japan has a new whaling program, and they’re readying their ships again. They could be underway any day now.
There is no easy or humane way to kill a whale.
A whaling ship will pursue a whale for many miles, exhausting the whale so it becomes an easy target.
Then they’ll shoot it with an explosive harpoon, reel it in, and shoot it with guns or suffocate the whale by forcing its head underwater alongside the boat. Some whales can take as long as 30 excruciating minutes to die.
Under their new program, Japan’s whalers plan to kill nearly 4,000 whales over the next 12 years in an expanded Antarctic killing zone.
Last month, Japan sought to exempt itself from the jurisdiction of the Court for any future cases about scientific whaling.
This breathtaking disregard for international law cannot go unchallenged.
Our Government cannot stand idly by and allow this cruel slaughter to resume.
Please take action now. Time is running out for the Southern Ocean whales.
Dear President Obama,
In just a few days, Japanâ€™s whaling fleet could again depart for the Southern Ocean. This is despite a ruling in March 2014 by the highest court in the world, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), that Japan’s previous whaling program was illegal, and member nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) calling on countries to refrain from submitting new plans.
I want to see the United States and other conservation-minded governments around the world rapidly increase diplomatic pressure on Japan to drop their new plan before another 4,000 whales die pointlessly for products no one wants and science nobody respects.
Back in February, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) expert panel reviewed Japanâ€™s plan and concluded it did not justify the need to kill more whales. Japanâ€™s fleet must not depart for another season of slaughter in the Antarctic without challenge from the international community.
The U.S. public from all sides of the political spectrum strongly supports whale conservation. The United States has played a major role in key whale conservation decisions, such as the moratorium on commercial whaling and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
I urge you, therefore, to raise this matter with Prime Minister Abe. Tell him that Japan is damaging its international reputation by continuing Antarctic whaling despite the decision of the world court.
I celebrated the ICJ’s landmark judgment, which provided whales in the Antarctic with protection from slaughter for the first time in more than a century.
Please ensure that our government does all it can to safeguard the hard-fought protection of whales in the Antarctic Ocean, so that both the courtâ€™s decision and the lives of those whales it can protect are not short-lived.
Patrick Ramage is IFAW’s Whales Program Director