HSI demands U.S. sanctions as Japanese whalers set sail. Election to decide how tough Australia gets with Japan
As Japanese whalers head to Antarctica to conduct the largest slaughter of humpback whales in half a century, Humane Society International’s Washington office and its 10 million members are frantically lobbying the U.S. Government to impose the most severe trade sanctions available under American law.
Japan has publicly announced its determination to take 50 humpbacks, 935 minke whales and up to 50 fin whales in the hunt.
Meanwhile, in Australia and two days out from the election, the Greens, the Democrats and the ALP are all supporting HSI’s Federal Court case against the whaling company and our request for an injunction to stop the hunt taking place. The judgement is expected any day and it will be the responsibility of whoever wins Government this weekend to enforce it. The Howard Government opposes the case and has said they will not enforce an injunction.
“With full government support and subsidies, Japan’s rapacious whaling industry is scraping the moral bottom with this reckless plan of assault on the humpback whale, a vulnerable marine species and a favorite of whale watchers throughout the world,” says Patricia Forkan, HSI president. “This gross violation of the worldwide moral and political consensus on whaling requires certification and the imposition of legal trade sanctions from the U.S. Government.”
Under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman’s Protective Act, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce can certify foreign nationals for undermining international conservation agreements, and the U.S. president has the right to introduce trade sanctions.
“With the addition of humpbacks, Japan has chosen the true outlaw’s path,” says Forkan. “The situation is far worse than it was in 2000, the last time the U.S. certified Japan for engaging in lethal whaling under the guise of ‘scientific research’. Japan has become a scofflaw nation, and we need both certification and sanctions from President Bush.”
HSI hopes that tough action from the Australian Government prompted by our court case and sanctions from the U.S. Government will combine to force Tokyo to order the ships to return to port in Japan.