Whale Wars in Seattle: A U.S. Court Discusses Antarctic Whaling

By Timothy G. Nelson*

This March, a Seattle-based federal judge issued a decision dealing with the continued practice of whaling in Antarctic waters. The court’s ruling, arising from a dispute between whalers and the activists depicted on the TV show, “Whale Wars,” stopped short of declaring whaling to be a violation of international law, but nevertheless declared it to be against the public interest of the United States as reflected in U.S. marine environmental legislation. The court also highlighted the potential importance of a dispute concerning this issue between Australia and Japan, currently pending before the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”).

The International Ban on Commercial Whaling

The hunting of whales, once a major industry in several maritime states, became subject to international regulation in 1946, through the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (“ICRW”). By that treaty, which gained widespread adherence, an International Whaling Commission (“IWC”) was established, with power to set annual catch quotas for each member state. Continue reading

The whales are saved!?

From commercial whaling at least, for now…

From the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society:

WDCS Press Statement:

Moratorium remains intact: Pro-whaling advocates fail to get commercial whaling condoned

Agadir 23rd June 2010 – After two days of closed-door discussions delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were unable to reach consensus on a proposal (the ‘deal’) that would see the legitimization of commercial whaling. Continue reading

Watch the Story of “Jenny”

MarineBio’s Director of Marine Mammals, Erich Hoyt, urges you to watch this powerful video then make your voice heard to stop the IWC.

With a decision on a proposal that will lift the ban on commercial whaling for the next ten years only a few weeks away, and the members of the European Union still struggling to find a common position concerning a practice which is strictly prohibited by law within European Union waters, leading European actor, Mario Adorf has added his voice to the anti-whaling movement by narrating a moving campaign film on behalf of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Continue reading

Whale wars in the Southern Ocean

This is getting ugly and increasingly dangerous:

Anti-whaling activists accuse Japan fleet of attack

Anti-whaling activists have accused a Japanese vessel of ramming their high-tech speed boat during a confrontation in the Southern Ocean. Video of the incident appeared to show the Japanese ship severely damaging the Ady Gil, but all six crew were rescued. Continue reading

Toy exploitation

Exploiting kids’ strange fascination with fighting and gore, toy manufacturer Mattel creates a monster.

Toy a whaling ship in shark’s clothing

An irate mother has bitten back at shops for selling a “shark ship” that encourages children to fire a plastic harpoon into the head of an oversized shark.

Louise Pearse saw the Mega Rig Shark Ship advertised in a Toyworld catalogue delivered to her home in Paraparaumu Beach over the weekend.
Continue reading

Save the Whales!?

Japan has threatened to defy a 21-year-old moratorium on commercial whaling after it failed to overturn the ban at the International Whaling Commission’s annual conference this week in Anchorage, Alaska.

humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae

Japan added that it is considering pulling out of the 77-nation commission in protest and may “unilaterally” hold whale hunts along its exclusive economic zone.

“There is a real possibility we will review, at a fundamental level, our role in the IWC and this would include withdrawing,” said Japan’s top delegate, Akira Nakamae, at the end of the four-day conference Thursday. Continue reading

Response from Iceland to an anti-whaling letter

I and other Plankton Forums members got this form letter in response to an action letter sent through the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society website. What this letter says to me is that Iceland’s policy makers put their hands over their ears and chant “la la la la… I can’t hear you….” in response to pleas from environmentalists to stop commercial whaling. They, like Japan, claim their whaling activities are in the name of “science” – I have another name for their letter and their whaling activities. I won’t repeat it here as it’s not appropriate language to use in this blog.

I truly don’t understand Iceland and Japan’s insistence on commercial whaling given that the market for whale meat is reportedly weak.

Here is the letter: Continue reading