Sunday, February 10, 2008
Whale Slaughtering Photos Shocked Australians
Australians were shocked when they saw the photo of a whale and its calf were dragged in a Japanese whaling ship. The picture was taken by an Australian customs ship Oceanic Viking on an official mission of monitoring and evidence collecting targeting Japanese while hunting activities in the Australian declared While Sanctuary. The Australian government, with a moral burden carried over by pre-election promise to protect the whale sanctuary, plans to bring legal action against the Japanese whaling practices.
Despite the fact that many whales, such as fin whales were on the list of endangered animals to be preserved and that Japan was a signature country of the international treaty, Japan continue to send whale hunting fleet escorted by armed coast guard warships.
The ICR of Japan issued a statement on its website disputed Australian media's description of the two whales in the picture as mother and its calf. The ICR claimed that the two whales were 'random samples' of varied size whales in a research program in order to get accurate statistic data (as the banner over the whaling ship read). However, spokesman of Peter Garrett, the Australian environment minister claimed to have received independent scientific advise saying they were in fact related.
On the other hand, the Japanese government threatened that if they had too much hassle in continuing the scientific research, they could withdraw with the treaty and start commercial whaling overnight. The majority of Japanese support whaling. "What about lambs?" angry Japanese asked western journalists.