Sunday, October 2, 2011

Game On!

It’s official: the Japanese are coming!
The nasty Nippon whalers are set to resume their Antarctic hunt this summer with increased security, after being forced out of the Southern Ocean last season by Sea Shepherd.
The Japanese government decided it would be against the national interest to give in to the activists. Greenpeace Japan says the report is unconfirmed, but the Japanese government fisheries agency has requested more funds: an additional US$25 MILLION on top of the estimated US$40m cost of the programme to beef up security - no details yet on what type of security they're planning.
International Fund for Animal Welfare whales programme director, Patrick Ramage, said the news is not unexpected: ''It's disappointing but not surprising... this seems to be much more about pride than profit.'' Well, y'know what they say: pride cometh before a fall.
Japan's had the triple disasters of the earthquake, the tsunami, then the nuclear meltdowns and they've added some very big bottom lines to Japan's deficit and public debt. Yet they're not only rolling out the fleet again, but adding a massive extra cost to its already deep-in-the-red operation! Seems an insult to all the anti-whaling nations that so generously contributed in Japan's hour of need, wouldn't you say?
The whaling fleet normally leaves Japan mid-November and this year will operate in waters south of Australia. The reasons are two-fold:
(1) new regulations involving activity below the 60° south line have shut them out of the area where all the Japanese pelagic whaling is usually done.
(2) by operating south of The Land of Oz, there's more sea area in which to play hide-and-seek with SS.
Paul Watson says SS will have three ships ready to battle the whalers again in Operation Divine Wind 2011-2012, but would welcome the presence of an Australian govt.vessel to monitor the action.
Aussie Green Party leader Bob Brown reckons his country isn't doing enough to stop the whaling, and he intends to raise the issue with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Meanwhile, what's happening with the Australian case against Japanese whaling at the International Court of Justice..?

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