HSI Urges Australia to Enforce Injunction on Japanese Whaling Fleet in the Southern Ocean
Humane Society International (HSI) today expressed its extreme concern at the continuing presence of a Japanese ‘security vessel’ in Australian waters which yesterday came within 20 nautical miles of Rottnest Island off Western Australia’s coast, shadowing the Steve Irwin. According to the Sea Shepherd Society, the vessel is ‘owned’ by the whaling company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., but emblazoned with ‘Government of Japan’.
“The conduct of this Japanese vessel is entirely inappropriate and amounts to aiding and abetting Southern Ocean whaling operations,” said Alexia Wellbelove of HSI. “In our view, the ship’s presence and intent constitutes a breach of Australian environmental law.”
In 2008, HSI succeeded in gaining a Federal Court injunction against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., the company responsible for whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Ms Wellbelove continued, “HSI believes that any person who aids or abets another to commit an offence may be liable as a party to the offence. The owners and persons directing the security vessel, as well as the crew, may therefore be deemed parties both to contempt of the Federal Court order as well as in contravention of Australian environmental law.”
Ms Wellbelove concluded with a call upon the Federal Government to “enforce the 2008 Federal Court injunction on Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha in Australia’s Antarctic waters, and urged the Coalition to support such actions.”
1. HSI believes that the enforcement of this injunction can be complementary to Australia’s ongoing legal case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling program.
2. Last year, 108 female minke whales were killed, almost 80% of which were pregnant. This figure equates to 50% of the total 170 minke whales killed being pregnant females.
3. Further information on HSI's court case against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd is available at http://www.hsi.org.au/?catID=85