There is a possibility this month that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will lift the ban on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986.
The Japanese may have finally bought off enough votes by bribing small nations to secure the votes they need to reopen a mass slaughter of whales worldwide.
One of the plans is a model called the Revised Management System (RMS). We refer to it as the Revised Management Scheme. The plan calls for limits on so-called "sustainable whaling."
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has opposed the RMS for years. It is simply a backdoor into re-opening commercial whaling. Sea Shepherd's position is that the killing of whales has no place in the 21st Century. It is a cruel and archaic industry that profits from the torture and murder of these highly intelligent, socially complex, mammals.
Put simply: Whaling is a brutal and anachronistic obscenity.
Whale populations were so diminished in the 20th Century by the greed of the whalers that all of the hunted species have yet to fully recover. Whereas the gray whale is cited as a success story, the Atlantic or Scragg whales were hunted to extinction and the Western Pacific populations have been reduced to only a few hundred. Only the Eastern Pacific gray has seen its number grow yet this species is very much threatened by habitat loss, over-fishing, agricultural run-off, and heavy-metal pollution.
The RMS quota system is nothing but a foot in the door for the whalers. It will open up the door to full-scale whaling.
Jun Koda, councilor in charge of fisheries at the Japanese Embassy in London, UK, said he hoped the scheme to allow limited kills would be passed at the meeting. "From our point of view the RMS is one of the steps to resuming commercial whaling," he told the BBC News website.
We have a Japanese representative for the whaling industry verifying what we have been saying all along: This is not a system it is a scheme towards full scale whaling.
Sea Shepherd is the only non-governmental organization banned from attending the IWC meeting as a result of our sinking of half the Icelandic whaling fleet in 1986 to uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling. It is ironic that Sea Shepherd is the only organization banned considering it is the only organization to actually enforce the regulations of the IWC.
Sea Shepherd intends to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters this year despite any decision by the IWC.
"We will not sit back and do nothing as Japan declares war on the whales. Our organization represents the interest of the whales and being killed in not in their interest," said Captain Paul Watson.