Greenpeace "saddened" by whale killings – Fishupdate.com

Greenpeace “saddened” by whale killings Published:  01 February, 2008

GREENPEACE has said it is “saddened” by reports from the Australian Customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, that the Fisheries Agency of Japan’s whaling fleet has killed at least five whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

“Once more, Japanese taxpayers must be wondering why they are funding this scandalous fake research operation which produces no real science, whale meat that no one wants to eat, and brings their country into international disrepute,” the environmental organisation said.

For fourteen days, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza chased the whaling fleet’s factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, over a distance of 4,300 nautical miles. It said that, without the factory ship, the remaining hunter vessels were unable to operate – bringing the entire whaling programme to a halt.

It is estimated that the whalers needed to catch approximately nine minke whales each day, and an endangered fin whale every other day in order to reach their self-imposed quota of nearly 1,000 whales. Greenpeace said that, during the two weeks it spent with the fleet, more than 100 whales were saved.

While the Esperanza has all but exhausted its fuel supplies and is returning to port, media coverage and public discussion on the whaling issue has reached unprecedented levels in Japan, where Prime Minister Fukuda has been forced to discuss the whaling issue in Parliament, Greenpeace said.

It said the campaign is now moving from the high seas to Japan, harnessing the power of people around the world: in the last week, 42,000 concerned camera owners from around have responded to Greenpeace’s call to email Fujio Mitarai, CEO of Canon Japan – a company known for its support of conservation issues – calling on him to speak out against whaling. Mr Fujio Mitarai is also the head of the influential Nippon Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation).

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