Humane Society International/UK has called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to join his counterparts in Australia and New Zealand by condemning Japan’s resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean that commenced yesterday.
Australia’s Prime Minister and New Zealand’s Foreign Minister both publicly condemned Japan’s renewed whaling, but despite a Conservative manifesto pledge to stand firm against commercial whaling, the UK government has so far made no public criticism of Japan’s renewed whale killing.
The Japanese whaling fleet set sail yesterday (1 Dec) to relaunch whaling in the Southern Ocean under a new scientific proposal, NEWREP-A. This whaling programme has not received the approval of the International Whaling Commission, and is contrary to the 2014 International Court of Justice judgment that rejected Japan’s claim that its previous scientific whaling programme was scientific and thus exempt from the global moratorium on commercial whaling.
Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “The Conservative party pledged in its manifesto to oppose commercial whaling and this week, more than ever, we need it to act on that. Japan’s whaling fleet has set off to kill 333 whales with relative impunity in a bogus scientific programme, and we need as many whale-friendly nations as possible to call them out. Australia and New Zealand are to be congratulated for their swift condemnation by senior Ministers, but so far the UK has been regrettably silent.
“It’s time for us to hear high level diplomatic protest from Defra Minister George Eustace or Prime Minister David Cameron in response to Japan’s latest whale slaughter mission. And more than words, we need to make Japan pay a political price for its ongoing defiance of the commercial whaling ban. The EU must make compliance a key requirement in the current negotiations for a free trade agreement with Japan.”
Along with eleven other wildlife and conservation organisations, HSI UK has launched a petition on the government’s website calling for high-level action. At this time the petition is well passed the 50,000 sign-on mark.
The Japanese fleet, which consist of the mother vessel “Nisshin Maru” (8,145 tons and 102 crew members) and three catcher vessels, the “Yushin Maru” (724 tons, 20 crew members); Yushin Maru” (747 tons, 20 crew members) and “the Yushin Maru” (742 tons, 22 crew members), plans to conduct the controversial research that Japan insists must include the killing of 333 Antarctic minke whales in each of 12 successive years.