|Thursday, January 19, 2006|
17 Nations Denounce Japanese Whaling Activities in the Southern Oceans
Last week, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society challenged New Zealand and Australia to take action against Japan. This week, New Zealand joined an initiative led by Brazil to sign on 16 other countries in an official diplomatic protest against illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Oceans.
The 17 nations sent representatives on January 16 and 17 to meet with Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present a demarche or a joint diplomatic presentation to request that Japan cease illegal whaling activities and to recall the whaling fleet.
The delegation referenced the fact that the Japanese whaling vessels operating in the Southern Ocean have been harassed by Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd ships in recent weeks, and there have been aggressive confrontations.
The delegation stated that , "There is no scientific justification to use lethal methods to provide information on whale populations."
The 17 nations supporting the demarches are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The issue of so-called "scientific whaling" will be a major item on the agenda at the 2006 annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission scheduled this summer in the Caribbean Islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.