|Friday, December 30, 2011|
Sea Shepherd Antarctica Campaign 2011
Profile: My name is HANA. I was born in Tokyo and am a citizen of the planet earth. Being vegan, I love nature, animals and the world I live in. I have dedicated my life to helping defenseless and voiceless animals. I am participating Sea Shepherd’s Antarctic campaign ‘Operation Devine Wind’ at the moment.
Blog 1 30th December, 2011
Konnichiwa! My name is HANA. I’m the translator on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s ship, the Bob Barker.
I would like to write about the issue of whaling as I observe this season’s Japanese illegal whaling activities in the southern ocean whale sanctuary.
First of all, I would like you to know about the Japanese illegal whaling in the southern ocean whale sanctuary. Run by the Japanese government, they used our bloody tax (500 million yen + additional of 2280 million yen this year) to break the hearts of whale lovers from all over the world. I would like Japanese people to know how this illegal slaughter affects the rest of the world.
I find it ironic that a country which dumps over 20,000,000 tons of food every year travels 1,000s of kilometers to the southern hemisphere to hunt whales. On their way down south the whaling fleet passes the nations of Australia and New Zealand where people have a high awareness of environmental and animal rights issues. A large section of their waters is considered part of the southern ocean whale sanctuary (where whales are protected and can swim freely, breed and take care of their calves) The whaling fleet kills about 1000 whales under the name of research here every year. Unfortunately Australians and New Zealanders are unable to do anything but watch as their lovely whales are brutally killed during the whaling season. Can you imagine how they feel?
There are still some people in Japan who think that whales are fish. However, whales and dolphins are mammals, just like humans. Whales can only give birth every few years, Calves are fed by breast feeding, learn how to breath, how to get food from their mums and it usually takes about one year for them to become fully independent. They have excellent communication skills and live in pods (families).
1/3 of the whales caught in Antarctica are pregnant, another 1/3 are mothers with a calf.
It is not hard to predict that the numbers of whales will continue to decrease if the Japanese whalers keep killing whales. Also, ocean pollution and noise have been a factor in decreasing the numbers of whales breeding.
The Japanese government accused of illegal commercial whaling in Antarctica by the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, Japanese media do not tell the truth when it comes to whaling. They only broadcast announcements from the Institution of Cetacean Research (ICR) who are busy accusing Sea Shepherd of using ‘risky’ actions. In doing this, they are ignoring the real problems associated with the whaling issue.
So, why is Japan’s Antarctic whaling being criticised so much?
The Japanese government ignores many international laws and regulations and keeps whaling under their favorite interpretation of research whaling.
[The Japanese research whaling is actually commercial whaling exploiting a loop hole in the regulations.] It is common sense to the rest of the world to abide by these regulations. However The Japanese government continues to behave in an arrogant manner and do as they want. This is a government which lies to their own people, they are accused of falsifying the reasons for their whaling operations by people all over the world, they are decreasing Japan’s national interest and reputation, they spent our bloody hard working tax yen and break the hearts of many whale lovers around the globe. Do you think it’s all worth it - just keep whaling? Do you still want to eat whale meat?
Is whaling Japanese Tradition/Culture?
It is true that there are some specific local areas which have long history of whaling in Japan but this does not make it our whole country’s culture. People don’t have a habit of eating whale meat these days so it is hard to say whaling is our tradition/culture. Traditional fishermen did not have today’s technology to assist them in killing whales. These people had to sail out on small boats and kill whales by hands. The meat from these whales was then used to feed the locals. They only killed whales for their own survival. This is our Japanese traditional whaling.
Japan learned harpoon technology from Norway in 1934. So is whaling in the far south southern ocean whale sanctuary, and selling whale meat all over Japan truly our culture?
The dolphin slaughter in Taiji Wakayama prefecture occurs from September to March every year. Some dolphins which are driven into the cove are sold to aquariums in Japan and overseas. Each dolphin is worth about 5,000,000 yen. The rest of the dolphins are killed and sold as dolphin meat, or even sometimes as whale meat. Some may consider whaling in Taiji our culture but selling to aquariums and distributing dolphin meat all over Japan is DEFINITELY NOT!!
As time passes by tradition and culture change. Animal abuse should be left in the past and never be considered culture or tradition ever again.
China stopped the dog meat festival which has over 600 years of history this year.
Spain’s traditional bull fights finished in Catalonia this year.
Traditional fox hunting in England was also set to end a few years ago.
Don’t you think it is time we stopped whaling?
Ghandi said One can measure the greatness and the moral progress of a nation by looking at how it treats its animals
In light of this message, I hope Japan will prove itself a truly great, forward-thinking and compassionate nation. GO JAPAN!!!!
Thanks Michael Beasley for helping to translate the above into English.