What is a Sanctuary and Why Defend It?
Sea Shepherd ships and crew will return to the Southern Ocean in December 2010 to once again intervene against illegal Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is an internationally established whale sanctuary, as in S-A-N-C-T-U-A-R-Y. We want to know just what it is about this word “sanctuary” that people don’t understand. Sanctuary means no killing, it means protection, it means refuge, it means asylum, and we intend to protect the whales within the sanctuary with all the resources available to us.
We are not interested in any compromise deal with Japan that will legalize the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean – hence, the mission name: Operation No Compromise. Giving the whalers a kill quota will not make it legal because you cannot legalize a kill quota in an established whale sanctuary. You cannot legalize commercial whaling in the waters south of sixty degrees without violating the Antarctic Treaty that prohibits commercial activity in the waters around the continent of Antarctic. The only way to legalize commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean is to dismantle the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and to negate the Antarctic Treaty.
Therefore, Sea Shepherd ships will return to the Southern Ocean Sanctuary unless a kill quota of zero whale kills is established.
The killing of even one whale is a violation of international conservation law. In addition to protecting the lives of individual whales we are also defending the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Whaling ships from Japan or anywhere else have no legal right to kill whales within the Sanctuary.
We reject the compromise being brokered by nations like New Zealand and the United States with Japan. “I am amazed that these nations are negotiating with poachers,” said Captain Watson. “They don’t negotiate with elephant poachers, shark finners, and drug traffickers, so why do the Japanese whalers get special consideration? The answer of course is that Japan is an economic power and makes demands backed up by economic pressure.”
The Japanese whaling fleet, under the Institute of Cetacean Research’s JARPAII plan, is targeting 935 piked (Minke) whales and another 50 fin whales, and has threatened to add humpbacks to their quota as well.
JARPAII stands for “Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic.”JARPAII states that, “Full-scale research will commence from the 2007/08 season and a period of six years (including two years of feasibility study) has been established as the research phase.” Sea Shepherd wants to make is clear that “research” means “slaughtering whales.”
Australia has publicly stated that there is no need for Japan to kill whales to do research, and it is understood worldwide that Japan only conducts this “research” so that they can commercially sell the whale meat. In May of 2010, Australia announced that it was going to “…initiate legal action in the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Japanese ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean. The decision underlines the Government’s commitment to bring to an end Japan’s program of so-called ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean. It also demonstrates our commitment to do what it takes to end whaling globally.”
Japan's government is directly responsible for the continued slaughter because after reviewing the original JARPA, it called for the launch of a “comprehensive study”…“combining lethal and non-lethal methods” – that study is the JARPAII. This annual slaughter is carried out in contravention to the 1986 international moratorium against whaling.
Operation No Compromise will be our 7th campaign by Sea Shepherd to intervene against the poaching of whales by the Japanese fleet in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.
2009-10: Operation Waltzing Matilda – 528 whales saved
Because of Sea Shepherd interventions, the Japanese whalers have suffered losses for years and they are now in debt to the Japanese government for subsidies of over US$100 million dollars. We are making steady progress towards our objective of sinking the entire Japanese whaling fleet – economically.
Countdown to Departure
Our ships, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, are currently being prepared to depart in early December. We have recruited the best crew we can assemble. Our only challenge now is to raise the funds to replace the Ady Gil, the vessel that the Japanese whaling vessel the Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed and destroyed on January 6th of 2010.