Wspa Tells Government: No Whaling In Our Waters

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23rd November 2009, 12:41pm - Views: 1095

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News Release


Further information: Louise Fitzsimons, WSPA Australia Communications Manager

Phone: (02) 9902 8013 / 0414 775 275   Email:

ABN 19 083 297 027

Monday 23 November 2009

WSPA tells Government: No whaling in our waters

As the Japanese whaling fleet embarks on its annual hunt – and this year heads for Australian

waters – the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is calling on the Australian

Government to take stronger action.

WSPA Programmes Manager Emily Reeves comments: “With the Japanese hunt happening

on our own doorstep this year, it’s time to stop turning a blind eye to the suffering of these

beautiful creatures. 

“It is essential that the Australian Government sends a vessel to the Southern Ocean for the

duration of the hunt - to monitor it and to show the cruel reality of this practice to the world.

Scientific research cannot be used as an excuse for cruelty.

“The Australian Government’s diplomatic efforts to stop Japan from continuing this cruel hunt

have not been successful.  It is now time to pull out all stops – to do whatever it takes – to

convince the Japanese Government to suspend this unnecessary cruelty.”

WSPA believes that all whaling is inherently cruel and should be banned for the simple reason

that there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea. The methods used in whaling are cruel,

outdated and completely contradictory to current international guidelines for the humane

slaughter of animals (1).

Ms Reeves continues: “We want the Australian Government to strengthen its opposition to

Japanese whaling by calling for Japan to suspend its whaling program, as a sign of good faith

while the International Whaling Commission’s Small Working Group process is underway.”


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This Small Working Group was set up to find a way forward for the IWC, including addressing

the issue of whale welfare. It is hoped that the group will be able to present suggestions for

progress at the next IWC meeting in 2010. Japan is part of this group, although they continue

to hunt. 

Ms Reeves adds: “You don’t have to kill a whale to understand it. This is something that the

Australian Government recognises and is committed to through the Southern Ocean

Research Partnership (2).” 


Notes to Editor


The most common whaling method is a harpoon which is designed to detonate inside the

whale’s body.  It creates a large wound, which triples in size when the harpoon’s barbs hook

into the whale’s body.  Despite the power of the explosive harpoon, a second harpoon or rifle is

often required for whales that do not die instantaneously. The average time to death is two to

three minutes, although some whales can take up to an hour to die. 


In order to demonstrate that we can understand whales without killing them, the Australian

Government has established an international research program, the Southern Ocean Research

Partnership. So far there are 12 member countries: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa

Rica, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Uruguay and the USA. They have

publicly asked Japan to join as well.

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