Japan has been abusing their rights under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling since 1987 when they first embarked on ' scientific whaling' to circumvent the global moratorium on commercial whaling that came into force in 1986. The Japanese Government now issues itself ' scientific permits' to kill up to 935 minke whales and 50 fins whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary every year and up to 220 minke whales, 100 sei whales and 10 sperm whales in the North Pacific.
The move by Australia to take Japan to court comes at a crucial time for international negotiations on whaling. Later this month, the 62nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will be held in Agadir, Morocco. At this meeting, a dangerous proposal is being considered which threatens to undermine protections for whales achieved since the moratorium on whaling was put in place in 1986.
Some governments at the International Whaling Commission are preparing to capitulate to Japan, Norway and Iceland and make commercial whaling legal again under a ' compromise' that has been drawn up. Under the so-called compromise the commercial whale hunts that these countries have each conducted in defiance of the global ban would be allowed to continue with impunity and that is unacceptable. The compromise proposed would not remove the scientific whaling loophole and HSI is calling for the compromise to be rejected at the IWC meeting in June.
Australia has said it rejects the compromise. By taking this stand, and launching the international court case, Australia has clearly told the world that it is prepared to fight to conserve our whales. However the pressure for a compromise is strong and it is important that Australians let our Government know that we support this position and expect them to stay resilient and continue to reject a compromise deal. The whales are counting on you.
Thank the Prime Minister and Environment Minister Peter Garrett for keeping to their election promise and launching the international court case against Japan.
Thank them for Australia's strong support to date in rejecting the proposed compromise position at the IWC.
Ask that Australia stay firm in the face of international pressure at the upcoming IWC meeting in Morocco, in defence of the whales and not support any compromise deal to legitimise commercial whaling.
Please write as soon as possible, and by 21st June at the latest to:
Garrett fax 02 6273 6101 or email at http://www.aph.gov.au/P_Garrett_MP