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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Norway Declares Death Sentence for 1052 Whales


Sea Shepherd vessel Whales Forever in confrontation
over Norwegian whaling operation in 1994

That other cruel and ecologically insensitive whaling nation Norway has set a kill quota of 1052 whales for 2008.

The quota is the same as last year despite the whalers being unable to find enough whales to meet that quota. The actual kill was 97 whales short of 1052.

The majority of the whales will be taken from the coastal areas around the Barents Sea, Svalbard and the North Sea.

Norway, displaying an incredible ignorance of marine ecology, claims that the piked whales must be killed to protect diminishing fish populations.

Norway claims there are 70,000 piked whales in the North Atlantic although they have not provided any scientific data to support this estimate. If there are 70,000 whales then taking 1,000 will have no significant statistical impact on fish consumption by cetaceans. However, if there are 70,000 whales then why has it been so difficult for the whalers to fill their quota historically?

Presently, Sea Shepherd is engaged in pursuing Japanese whaling vessels in the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary off the coast of Antarctica. Critics in Japan have accused Sea Shepherd of ignoring the Norwegian whale kill and focusing only on illegal Japanese whaling. These same critics claim that Sea Shepherd's motivation is racist.

These critics in Japan are ignorant however. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society considers Norwegian whaling to be as illegal as Japanese whaling. Norway is blatantly killing whales for commercial purposes in defiance of the International Whaling Commission's global moratorium on commercial whaling.

"At least the Norwegians are honest criminals," said Captain Paul Watson. "They don't even pretend to be killing whales for so called ‘scientific research' like the Japanese."

"However to say that Sea Shepherd ignores Norway to focus on Japan is ridiculous. Sea Shepherd crewmembers have sent a number of Norwegian whalers to the bottom," he continues.

The whaling ship Williamson Senior was scuttled by agents of Agenda 21 in August 2007. Four other whalers were sunk between 1992 and 2007. Norwegian whalers have been forced to pay war insurance premiums to protect their illegal whaling operations.

During the summer of 2007, Sea Shepherd's Operation Ragnarök helped shut down illegal Icelandic whaling operations and Sea Shepherd has been opposing the resumption of whaling by the Makah Indian tribe in the USA since 1995.

"We don't discriminate when it comes to outlaw whaling operations," said Captain Paul Watson. "I don't care what the race or culture of a whaler is; killing whales illegally is unacceptable by anyone, anywhere, for any reason. The enforcement of marine wildlife conservation law is and must be blind to everything but the law."