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Japan's whalers off to hunt humpbacks
Sunday Nov 18 16:32 AEDT



Japan's whaling fleet set off today towards the Antarctic Ocean for a hunt that will include famed humpback whales for the first time, defying Western protests that the move will inflame tensions.

Japan argues that whale populations have recovered enough to allow a managed catch, but militant environmentalists have vowed in turn to "hunt the whalers" to save the humpbacks.

The fleet took off for its five-month voyage after a ceremony in the western port town of Shimonoseki that included the head of Japan's Fisheries Agency, an official said.

The fleet is led by the 8,044-tonne Nisshin Maru, which has been repaired since a fire that forced Japan to cut short its last Antarctic hunt.

The environmental movement Greenpeace said that its Esperanza ship was waiting outside Japanese coastal waters and would track the whalers in Antarctic waters, shooting video footage to show the public.

"The threatened humpbacks targeted by the whalers are part of thriving whale watching industries elsewhere," Greenpeace expedition leader Karli Thomas said in a statement issued aboard the Esperanza.

"The whaling fleet must be recalled now. If it is not, we will take direct, non-violent action to stop the hunt."

Japan kills more than 1000 whales a year in the Antarctic and also the Pacific Ocean using a loophole in an international moratorium that allows catching whales for research. Only Norway and Iceland defy the moratorium outright.

This year, Japan is expanding the catch to include 50 humpback whales, which are celebrated for their complex songs and acrobatic displays.

The expedition also plans to kill 50 fin whales — the world's second largest animal after blue whales — as well as 850 smaller minke whales.

It will be the first time that Japan has hunted humpback whales since an international moratorium on the species took effect in 1966 due to overhunting. The former Soviet Union also defied the moratorium.

Western conservationists say that humpback and fin whale populations are still vulnerable. Australia has warned that killing humpbacks would seriously worsen an already bitter feud with Japan on whaling.

Humpbacks migrate northwards along Australia's coast to breed each year.

Their slow and majestic progression each year draws some 1.5 million whale watchers, pumping an estimated 225 million US dollars into Australia's economy.

"It's important that Japan understands that the inclusion of humpbacks will have an impact on perceptions of Japan in Australia," Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said earlier this year.

Japan counters that Western nations are insensitive to its culture and that whale populations are recovering.

Japan makes no secret that the whale meat goes onto dinner plates and also says that "lethal research" helps keep data on the giant mammals.

"Japan's research makes a valuable contribution to the management of Antarctic whale species to ensure that any future commercial whaling regime is robust and sustainable to provide a reliable food source for generations to come," Minoru Morimoto, head of the government-backed Institute of Cetacean Research, said last week.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a hardline offshoot of Greenpeace, denounced Japan as "viciously cruel" for hunting humpbacks.

Sea Shepherd has pledged to stop the mission in "Operation Migaloo," named after an elusive albino humpback beloved in Australia.

"As the relentless Japanese whalers seek to hunt down and kill Migaloo and his family, Sea Shepherd will be hunting the whalers with the firm objective of intervention against their illegal activities," a Sea Shepherd statement said.

During the last Antarctic hunt, Sea Shepherd activists tracking the fleet hurled bottles of chemicals at the fleet in an attempt to disrupt operations, leading Japan to label them "terrorists."

This activity is simply intolerable! I hope you guys can spread this news around to let more people know about it! Thanks a lot!
 
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:bump:
 

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Restrictions on whaling need to be tightened and enforced.

Also, the "scientific loophole" the Japanese use needs to be hashed out again so that there is no loop hole anymore for the Japanese to slaughter whales to feed as soup.

There are plenty of domesticated land animals the Japanese can use for meat or soup so they should re-think this part of their "culture" and consider the fact that the whale numbers are still recovering from decades of exploitation.

Basically, whaling is just unneccesary and cruel.
 

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I also think it's unneccessary and brutal, and that it is a big joke that they are allowed to do it officially under the disguise of scientific research :eek: But it's always difficult to judge about it because I'm also not innocent as I'm also eating meat of cattle, pigs or chicken. And although livestock handling and slaughtering processes are regulated quite firmly here compared to other countries, it's a known fact that not everything can be (is) controlled and that applied methods to produce immediate unconsciousness or anesthesia of the animal before the bleeding sometimes fail and thus the animals are exposed to unnecessary suffering (that's why I'm also clearly against most Shechita methods).
 

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I also think it's unneccessary and brutal, and that it is a big joke that they are allowed to do it officially under the disguise of scientific research :eek: But it's always difficult to judge about it because I'm also not innocent as I'm also eating meat of cattle, pigs or chicken. And although livestock handling and slaughtering processes are regulated quite firmly here compared to other countries, it's a known fact that not everything can be (is) controlled and that applied methods to produce immediate unconsciousness or anesthesia of the animal before the bleeding sometimes fail and thus the animals are exposed to unnecessary suffering (that's why I'm also clearly against most Shechita methods).
The Shecita method (I actually had to google :eek:) if I am correct is one slit across the throat severely cutting the (insert big words..) so basically what pain does the animal suffer? (UNLESS not done properly, then it would be painful)

Believe me, I am NOT for it. But I have seen the way the fur coat industry is in asian countries (I seen a video a while back, maybe 6 months ago, and can still not get the image out of my head), I was almost physically sick. The worst thing I have ever seen in my entire life, and I don't think anything can top it.

Anyway :retard: the Shechita method would have been sweet relief for those animals, rather then being wacked on their head a few times, then cut to bits alive, having their skin ripped off them and being thrown in a pile, basically just their head left, all the while somehow still being alive. :sad: :sad: :sad:

This is way off topic, but putting the whale hunter trade stuff in perspective, there is ALOT worse happening, and NOTHING is getting done about it. :sad:

I am not sure what kind of people can do those things to a living creature, can we even call them people?

OK, that's my rant done. :topic:
[/rant] :eek:
 

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It's so disgusting, when they go whale hunting the entire sea becomes blood red.

http://www.savethewhalesagain.com/wm_master.html

They especially should not be able to hunt the humpback. :sad:
I can hardly bear to read this sort of stuff - such evil and unnecessary cruelty perpetrated by Man who is supposed to be a species superior to others :rolleyes: The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.
 

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It's sick, disgusting. this people belong in jail.

And I just read the other day that the girl from Heroes, Hayden Panettiere, who is the spokesperson for this campaign can face jail if she ever goes back to Japan. quite unbelieveble. :rolleyes:
 

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Japanese Arrest Warrant Issued for Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere is a wanted woman - Japanese authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the Heroes star. The 18-year-old actress violently clashed with Japanese fishermen recently as she tried to save hundreds of dolphins from slaughter. The star was almost stabbed by fishing hooks aimed at the protestors during the protest, but felt compelled to show her opposition to the mass killing, which turned the sea red with blood. And now Panettiere is wanted by Japanese police. She says, "I learned today that I have an arrest warrant out for me in Japan because of what I did for Save the Whales." And the beauty is not scared of being sent to jail - because they'd have to catch her first. She adds of the incident's repercussions, "Potentially jail, but I doubt it... I guess they could come here and get us, but probably not."
http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/2007-11-16/#2
 

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Yes, it is very sad and merciless.
What can be said here?
Japan government helps to Bush to murder people in Afghanistan indirectly by supporting his troops in food and some other things. Do you think that people, who help to murder other people, would take pity on whales? They have no pity on other, poor people. If somebody has no respect for human life, it is sure 100 % that it has no merci for animals.
They are merciless. Real scum.
 

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Yes, it is very sad and merciless.
What can be said here?
Japan government helps to Bush to murder people in Afghanistan indirectly by supporting his troops in food and some other things. Do you think that people, who help to murder other people, would take pity on whales? They have no pity on other, poor people. If somebody has no respect for human life, it is sure 100 % that it has no merci for animals.
They are merciless. Real scum.
:haha: :haha: :haha: We should keep a record of your post for the 2008 ACC, so as to avoid weird results in the voting.
 

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Bump
 

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Japan condemns anti-whaling activists

Japan has denounced animal rights activists who boarded one of its whaling ships and insisted that its killing of whales was legal.

Two activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boarded a harpoon vessel Tuesday to deliver a written demand that Japan stop its hunt, which is opposed by most Western countries.

Sea Shepherd said Japan has refused to release the two men — Australian Benjamin Potts and Briton Giles Lane — until the group agrees to stop disrupting the hunt.

Japan denied the account and said its ship was trying to contact the environmentalist group.




"The ship has been sending messages to hand the two individuals back to Sea Shepherd. But so far the group has not responded," government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura told reporters in Tokyo.

He said the incident would not affect ties with Australia.

"I do not believe this will affect diplomatic relations, but their actions are very dangerous and interfere with legal activities conducted in the public ocean," Machimura said.

"The Japanese government strongly condemns these acts," he said.

Public broadcaster NHK aired footage showing a small boat bringing the activists to the Japanese ship. The men smiled and posed for a camera as they boarded the whaling vessel before being surrounded by the Japanese crew.

Japan, which says whaling is part of its culture, is on a mission to kill 1,000 whales in Antarctic waters. Japan uses a loophole in an international moratorium that allows "lethal research" on the giant mammals.

Australia's Federal Court has ordered Japan to stop hunting and killing whales anywhere around its coastline or off Australian Antarctic territory.

However, the court noted that unless the Japanese whalers entered Australian jurisdiction where they could be seized, there was no practical way the order could be enforced.
 
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