international convention for whaling

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‘A gruesome, medieval scene’: Shocking images reveal Japanese fleet is slaughtering whales INSIDE an international sanctuary

  • Campaigners say they spotted vessels in Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
  • Images of whale carcasses on bloodied ship deck captured from a helicopter
  • Another minke whale was being butchered on board, says Sea Shepherd
  • Commercial whale hunting outlawed in 1994
  • Japanese whaling vessels allowed 'for research purposes’

These graphic images depicting the carcass-strewn deck of a Japanese whaling boat were captured by campaigners after they allegedly caught the vessel inside an internationally-recognised sanctuary.

Militant anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd says it spotted the Nisshin Maru sailing through the protected Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary during the annual whaling season.

As the Sea Shepherd’s helicopter flew above the Japanese ship, campaigners shot footage of the blood-streaked deck and the carcasses of three dead minke whales lying on the ship as another creature was butchered.

Sea Shepherd said it had spotted the Japanese fleet yesterday and captured evidence that four whales had been slaughtered this morning, alleging the ships were found inside the sanctuary.

Campaigners said they had located all five Japanese vessels and were now in pursuit, forcing the harpooners to cut short their operation and retreat.

'There’s three carcasses on the ship, a fourth carcass has been cut up. There’s blood all over the place, meat being carted around on this factory ship deck, offal and innards being dumped in the ocean,’ said Sea Shepherd Australia chairman Bob Brown. 

'That’s just a gruesome, bloody, medieval scene which has no place in this modern world.’

When the Nisshin Maru was first spotted from the air, Dr Brown said it was in Antarctica’s Ross Dependency, within New Zealand’s territorial waters and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which he described as a 'gross breach of international law’.

The commercial hunting of whales is prohibited in the sanctuary, which was designated by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1994, but Japan catches the animals there under a 'scientific research’ loophole in the moratorium on whaling.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully denied whaling was taking place within his country’s maritime jurisdiction, saying the site was considered international waters, as he condemned the 'pointless and offensive’ practice.

'The New Zealand government has repeatedly called on Japan to end its whaling programme. We reiterate this message today,’ he said.

Japan’s fisheries agency said its programme was being conducted 'in line with a research plan submitted to the IWC’.

'We are not aware of the existence of a whaling sanctuary so we don’t want to comment on their arguments,’ an agency spokesman said of Brown’s claims.

The Japanese foreign ministry said research whaling was 'not a violation or an abuse of a loophole in the international convention’.

'Quite the contrary, this is a legitimate right of the contracting party under Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling,’ it said.

Dr Brown described 'massive violence’ against the whales, using grenade-tipped harpoons to catch them, and said Sea Shepherd would do 'all it peaceably can to prevent this grotesque and cruel destruction’, also urging Australia and New Zealand to take action.

'There is nothing scientific about this, it is butchery,’ Mr Brown said.

'The one thing that’s missing here is gumption - a bit of spine in Canberra and in Wellington to put an end to it.’

Australia has taken Japan to the International Court of Justice seeking to have its research whaling programme declared illegal, with a ruling due this year.

Peter Hammarstedt, captain of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker, said Japan had shown 'flagrant disregard for international law by continuing their illegal whale hunt while the world patiently awaits a decision from the International Court of Justice’.

Sea Shepherd left Australia for their 10th annual harassment campaign of the Japanese fleet last month, sending three ships to tail and run interference against the harpooners.

High-seas clashes between the two groups are common, resulting in the 2010 sinking of the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil.

Australia will be monitoring confrontations between the pair from a government jet which is due to fly surveillance missions over the Southern Ocean between January and March.

However, Dr Brown said there had so far been no sign of the aircraft.

plantique-deactivated20140821  asked:

But don't you think that Blackfish was good at all? I mean, it brought across its message pretty well. And aquariums should be stopped- it's not fair to the animals. And this movie helps us see the light- aquariums can get really bad.

Indeed I do not. 
Now if one made a documentary with proof of ANY aquarium that is violating Federal (US) and international laws like the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the International Whaling Convention, etc then that would certainly be something which needs to be brought to public attention. 

IF the examples provided in Blackfish actually happened (see this post) then this would be shedding some light on a huge welfare issue.
But it isn’t. Indeed many of the people used in Blackfish withdrew their support and actually spoke out against the misleading pseudo-documentary. (sources on this post)

So what Blackfish did was really just muddy the waters with misconceptions. Instead of using well sourced, verified, and independently supported evidence to back up their claims, they used propaganda and lies. Once you try to pass outdated half truths as fact, or combine differing audio and video footage to willfully mislead your audience, you have lost what we like to call editorial integrity.

It is not the audience’s job to separate the wheat from the chaff in a documentary, tv show, or article. I mean, it’s great if they do. That’s what being an engaged and critical thinker is all about. But more often than not, audiences are willing to listen to whatever they are told as long as it seems credible enough. We, the audience, have put our trust in the editors and production staff of the media we ingest. Blackfish abused that trust, and so I have no use for them. 



They could have used such an opportunity to discuss scientifically based reasons why they think cetaceans should not be in captivity, or explained laws that need further reinforcement or rewriting to better protect these animals, or a number of things that would have supported their goal to promote animal welfare. 
But instead they just added another log to the “can’t trust those animal rights crazies” fire. 
Thanks Blackfish. Thanks.


Note: Sorry for the rant. I might have some trust issues… pseudoscience and loss of scientific / journalistic / personal integrity really gets under my skin. Any snark or heat perceived is not directed towards you, Loyial. The stink eye is for perpetrators of pseudoscience only. Not for those who ask questions.