JAPAN SETS SAIL FOR THE SOUTHERN OCEANS. AUSTRALIA MUST MONITOR THE WHALING FLEET AND CALL IN JAPANESE AMBASSADOR
Today the Japanese whaling fleet has set sail to the Southern Oceans in breach of international law and disregarding the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee's critique of their lethal whaling plan.
The Japanese whaling fleet consists of four ships: the mother vessel "Nisshin Maru” (8,145 tonnes and 102 crew) and three catcher vessels, each called "Yushin Maru” and with around 20 crew members on board. The fleet plans to conduct the controversial research plan 'NEWREP-A' that will see Japan kill 333 Antarctic minke whales in each of the 12 years of the plan.
In a media release, the Japanese Fishing Agency which oversees the Cetacean Research Institute claims that the NEWREP-A plan was developed with consideration of the 2014 International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment.
HSI Director Michael Kennedy says, "Today Japan has formally recommenced its commercial whaling program in the Southern Oceans. This is a slap in the face for not only international law and science, but also for the community at large. Many Australians celebrated at the International Court of Justice's ruling in 2014 and the more recent win by HSI in the Federal Court which saw Japanese whaling company Kyodo fined $1 million. There was hope amongst the community that we may see the end of Japanese whaling which has now been dashed.”
"We look to the Australian Government to do all it can to express the Australian community's anger to the Japanese Government and to uphold the recent decision of the Federal Court which found Japanese whaling company Kyodo in contempt of court for killing whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary,” Mr. Kennedy continued.
"We ask the Australian Government to call in the Japanese Ambassador to Australia and express the Australian community's grievous disappointment at Japan's return to whaling and to send an Australian ship to monitor the whaling fleet. With the Federal Court recently imposing the largest ever fine under our chief Federal environmental legislation on Japanese whalers for killing whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, we need to be certain that this judgment is heeded by Kyodo and the Japanese Government,” Mr. Kennedy concluded.