Guest post: Japan resumes whaling, I resume crying »
I’ve been following the updates from Taiji, Japan on Twitter—Taiji is where The Cove was filmed, and where every year dolphins are slaughtered in a cove for low-priced and mercury-laden meat after the ones suitable for “fun” (read: awful) places like SeaWorld are picked out and sold for tens of thousands of dollars. Sad things happen there. Sea Shepherd is in Japan bearing witness to the dolphins killed in Taiji in the hopes that the world will take notice and put pressure on Japan to stop it.
This created chunks of sadness in my Twitter feed—between videos about cute cats and Vegan MoFo blog posts—and now I’ve started seeing tweets about this as well: Japan is going to resume its “scientific” whaling program after stopping it due to pressure from groups like Sea Shepherd. (I put “scientific” in quotes because that’s totally not the case.) Why you gotta do me like this, Japan?!
Officials announced on Tuesday that Japan will resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean this winter, and stated their intentions to protect their ships.
"The Fisheries Agency will send a patrol boat and take increased measures to strengthen the protection given to the research whaling ships," Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano said at a news conference Tuesday.
Fortunately, the Sea Shepherd crew are a bunch of badasses and don’t plan to make the hunt easy for Japan.
They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again…. We will undertake whatever risks to our lives will be required to stop this invasion of arrogant greed into what is an established sanctuary for the whales.
That’s from a statement by Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson, who says that more than 100 people will be in the Southern Ocean to block the Japanese whaling fleet. How can you help? For starters, you can support Sea Shepherd so they can continue their work. You can sign a petition against whaling at Whales Revenge. You can write to your government reps to make it clear you don’t support whaling, and you want them to make their lack of support for whaling known as well. Adopt a whale from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. And you could talk to people about why whales are awesome and whaling is not, and encourage them to take action too. Highly recommended: following Sea Shepherd’s updates, online and/or Twitter.
Have any other suggestions on how awesome Vegansaurus readers can fight whaling in the Southern Ocean? Tell us about them in the comments!
photo by John Krzesinski via Flickr
Urgent: Help save the humpback whales! »
Alternative title: The IWC sucks and I heart Mister Splashy Pants
According to my new favorite animal welfare group, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), this is an important week in the fight to end whaling. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida this week to discuss a proposal that would legalize commercial whaling. More specifically: Greenland wants to kill humpback whales! WTF Greenland?
While commercial whaling is currently illegal, WDCS says that together Japan, Norway and Iceland kill over 2,000 whales each year. I guess they just want to be able to do it legally. A-holes! Jeez, Iceland, I used to think you were cool. Now I think you’re a big jerk.
To read more about this new proposal and see how you can help, visit WDCS’s website.
To learn more about humpback whales, stay right here! I mean, go to the WDCS site and then come back here and share my love for humpback whales.
When I was about five years old, my family went to Alaska for some unknown reason. I have many fond memories of this trip—I mean it was the first time I saw Weird Science (hello hotel cable!)—but when asked about my trip, I would proudly declare, “I saw half a dozen humpback whales!” It’s a melodic sentence, isn’t it? It’s also true! We were often on a boat, and kept seeing humpback whales jumping out of the water. It was AWESOME.
Humpback whales are super-popular because they are crazy sea acrobats and the males sing really intense whale songs. And guess what else! Each humpback whale’s flukes (duh that means the lobes of its tail [thanks, Joel!]) is distinct. You know, like fingerprints and snowflakes! Because of this, people have been able to totally document individual whales for decades. There’s famous ones like Salt, pictured here, who WDCS calls the “grand dame of the whale world” because she’s been photographed so many times and has a bunch of kids. Mister Splashy Pants is another famous humpback, he got his name in an online voting contest run by Greenpeace. A real internet celebrity!
If they legalized whaling, who’s to say that Mister Splashy Pants and Salt wouldn’t be the next casualties?! If you want to help Mister Splashy Pants, or the Notorious MSP as I will now call him, head over to Greenpeace and see what you can do. And at whaleadoption.org you can adopt Salt and any of her pals—you get a plush whale and everything. Not to mention mad props from Poseidon, I’m sure. Stop whaling!
[Image of Salt and “stop whaling” icon from the WDCS website]