Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Japanese Whaling Must Stop

I was working up another post but then the news about Ady Gil broke. If you haven't caught up with it a Japanese "security" vessel has sunk Sea Shepherd's Ady Gil in the Southern Ocean. Let me first say that I think often Sea Shepherd gets the balance between protest and seamanship wrong. They take dangerous risks with their lives and with the lives of others.
Nevertheless Japan cannot claim the high ground on this matter - they are equally engaging in dangerous behaviour. The fact that they have sunk Ady Gil means that their behaviour is unacceptable.
What is utterly clear however is that four things need to be changed:
  1. This is not science as the Japanese claim. It is simply a jingoistic insistence on continuing, what the Japanese claim is, a cultural tradition. It is long past acceptable. The world has already once hunted whales to the verge of extinction. It should not be allowed to happen again;
  2. Both Japan and Sea Shepherd are very likely in breach of the laws of the sea. The Japanese government as the flag state of the Japanese ships and the flag states of the Sea Shepherd ships must act to stop the bad behaviour now;
  3. The Australian government needs to get off its backside and take this issue aggressively up to the Japanese government. Legal action should be taken if possible to cause the cessation of this whaling. At the least vigorous diplomatic action should be taken and these vessels should be banned from all Australian waters;
  4. CASA and the Australian government need to take action to ensure that flights in support of the actions of the Japanese whalers do not take off from Australian territory. CASA needs to use all aspects of the CASRs, CARs and CAOs to stop these flights and in any event the government needs to ban them.
Show your disapproval of the Japanese whaling activities by using the #antiwhaling and #boycottJapan hash tags on Twitter.

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