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Japanese whalers fall short of quota, to delight of marine mammal lovers

Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic.

Whale watchers and marine mammal enthusiasts around the world might be pleased to learn that Japan fell substantially short of its minke whale hunt quota, thanks largely to disruptive efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society earlier this season in the Antarctic region.

Three vessels from the whaling fleet returned home this week and reported a final tally of 679 minke whales and one fin whale for a five-month effort, much of which was spent in clashes with the crew of the Steve Irwin, of the Sea Shepherd fleet.

Japan's goal had been to kill up to 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales. Shigeki Takaya, a fisheries agency spokesman, told the Associated Press: "This season's catch was reduced as a result of the interference by protesters."

Japan's annual whale hunt draws international criticism and has been condemned by Australia, which claims targeted whales help support that country's whale-watching industry.

Here in Southern California, commercial whaling ended in the early 1900s, after Pacific gray whales had been slaughtered to the brink of extinction. Japan uses a research loophole in the 1986 international moratorium on whaling, and has little outside support and few sympathizers.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Sea Shepherd's Steve Irwin collides with the stern of a Japanese harpoon whaling ship in the Antarctic. Credit: Sea Shepherd

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Comments (6)

It is certainly time for the world to come down against the Japanese government’s sanctioning of the killing of 800+ whales for sale as commercial meat! You don’t need 800 specimens for “Research”. And you sure don't need to kill them in a whale sanctuary!

How can they justify whaling in a WHALE SANCTUARY that the Australian government is supposed to control? MONEY.

Does the Jap government control you, too?

It IS a veil for commercial whaling. But the Japanese government who have bankrupted their own citizens seem to pull the wool over everyone's eyes! ASK the SCIENTISTS who found DNA in whale meat from a whale they were studying which was then killed by Japanese sanctioned murderers-to be sold in the Japanese food market!!

It is time we expose Japanese defiance of animal sanctuaries for what it is: Mass Slaughter of innocent animals in a Whale Sanctuary being ignored by so many governments that it takes a rag-tag band of volunteers in a rust bucket who are willing to try to stop the murder of marine mammals (worth big bucks on the Japanese market" by Nisshin Maru whalers.
TELL THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Myra Lemson

So it seems the Sea Shepherd has given reason to the Japanese whalers to continue hunting for another year.

Latest Japanese whaling announcement claimed that they did not catch enough whales this year to be able to conduct necessary scientific research and that they will continue next year in hopes of catching their required quota.

Don't you all realize that the Japanese have been catching more and more whales every year, yet because they are interfered by Sea Shepherd, the Japanese always fail to catch their quota to do scientific research?

Seems to me that SS and the Japanese are working together for their own benefit. SS makes enough noise that people donate to their cause and the SS leaves the Japanese alone enough each year for them to catch an increasing amount of whales.

Perhaps the Japanese have FEW sympathizers but they are hardly less loathsome. The Norwegians and the Icelanders are as guilty as sin. Iceland's economy is on the brink and it shouldn't get A single dollar of aid until it ends its whale harvest.

While Greenpeace it out there "bearing witness" Sea Shepard is doing the hard, dangerous work that counts! My vote (and admiration) goes to them!

The Sea Shepherds are hands down the most effective animal rights intervention organization. Unlike some others they do what they say they are going to do and they do it well.

HECK YES!!!!!!

And so many people want to dismiss the SSCS as show boaters and publicity seekers. Those people can eat their words once again. Despite what one may feel about their tactics, their taste in food, or Mr. Watson's personality the results show that they are the most effective marine conservation organization ever. Why? They do not get tangled in bureaucracy or worry about next years fundraising. They simply go out and confront face-to-face the plunders of our planet's future. That is why they win, that is why they keep raising money and headlines. We all owe the Captain and his crew our thanks.


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