Greenpeace finds Japan's whalers
By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer Sat Jan 12, 2:25 AM ET
SYDNEY, Australia - A Greenpeace ship on Saturday confronted a Japanese whaling fleet that had initially planned to hunt protected humpbacks, the environmentalists said — setting off the latest round of cat-and-mouse in a sometimes dangerous feature of the hunting debate.
Greenpeace's Esperanza found the Japanese whalers in the Antarctic Ocean after a 10-day search, and the hunting ships immediately steamed off with the activists in pursuit, the environmentalists said in a statement.
They warned they would take non-violent action to try to stop the ships from killing whales — a promise that in the past has led to activists in speed boats trying to put themselves between whales and Japanese harpoons, and once to a collision of ships.
Japanese whaling officials were not immediately available to confirm Greenpeace's claims.
Last November, Japan dispatched its whaling fleet to the icy waters of Antarctica to kill about 1,000 whales under a program that Tokyo says is for scientific purposes.
Under pressure from the U.S. and other countries, Japan last month abandoned its plan to include 50 humpback whales in the hunt — what would have been the first major hunt of humpback whales since the 1960s. But it still plans to kill 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.
Commercial hunts of humpbacks have been banned worldwide since 1966, and commercial whaling overall since 1986.
Japan's whaling fleet is run by a government-backed research institute and operates under an International Whaling Commission clause that allows the killing of whales for scientific purposes. But critics say the program is a shield for Japan to keep its whaling industry alive until it can overturn the 1986 ban. . . .http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080112/...88VTdqpSYPLBIF
I can't imagine how the Japanese government could sanction this practice in the face of such a strong international, moral effort to protect whales.
I was ready to forgive the Japanese when they finally capitulated to international pressure and prohibited commercial whaling, despite the fact that they were doing it illegally. Then I find out they're still up to the butchery by keeping their government program in place. Shame on the Japanese. Go Greenpeace. . . .
Would you agree? Regardless, is there any reason that you would boycott a nation's products?