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United States Regrets Japan's Renewed Whaling In The Southern Ocean And Is Concerned About Threats Of Violence

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SILVER SPRING, Maryland -- The United States deeply regrets that Japan has decided to continue its controversial whaling in the Southern Ocean. The United States also expresses its deep concern about the possibility of violence in connection with such whaling.

"We are very concerned about Japan continuing its whaling program in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary," said Monica Medina, U.S. commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and principal deputy under secretary of commerce for NOAA. "These catches will only increase the growing friction within the IWC over how to deal with the large number of whales that continue to be killed while a moratorium remains in place. There is no reason to kill these creatures in order to learn about them. All the necessary science that we need for the management of whales can be achieved using non-lethal techniques."

The United States is also concerned by statements by anti-whaling activists that suggest life-threatening tactics would be employed during protest activities in the Southern Ocean.

"The safety of vessels and life at sea is the highest priority for the United States." said Medina. "I ask all parties to respect the Commission's wishes and immediately refrain from any acts at sea that risk human life or safety. These dangerous confrontations in the Southern Ocean must stop before someone gets seriously hurt or even killed."

In July 2011, IWC member nations adopted by consensus a resolution regarding the safety of vessels engaged in whaling and whale research-related activities. The resolution disapproves of actions that risk human life and property and supports navigational safety regulations.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

6 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

The shame that these people bring to their country is paramount!! Sanctions should be imposed on a country that hasn't seemingly learned Mother Nature's wrath! Poor them! :(
   comment# 1   - Sam Kerridge · England · Oct 16, 2011 @ 3:32am

It is absolutely no surprise that Japan would resume whaling. They perceive themselves to be a very small country with a large population, hence, all bets are off when it comes to feeding themselves. They view the entire ocean as their menu. I have worked as a Fisheries Observer, and I have served on catcher-processor vessel. I have served on a vessel along side a Japanese Quality Control inspector, who was on board at the behest of his company, which was buying the Grey Cod. We had discussions. It is was made patently clear to me that Japan sees absolutely no wrong with taking the very last of any species on the guise of feeding itself. None what so ever. There is no emotion attached to decimating creatures in such a barbaric manner as modern whaling. There is no concept of "guilt" or "shame" attached to senseless slaughter of sentient creatures such as all marine mammals. With this, I declare a cause for boycott of Japanese goods. I request the international community immediately and forcibly declare an end to ALL whaling. Period. No excuses, no manipulations. NO MORE WHALING. PERIOD. The Japanese whalers merely wanted to "throw-off" Paul Watson and crews while they huddled and came up with more insidious plans for a new whaling season. They've only succeeded in ratcheting-up the stakes. The international community will probably support more violence and the ultimate sinking of Japanese whaling vessels, hopefully without loss of human life. Please write your governments!
   comment# 2   - Geoff McPherson · Ashland, Oregon, U.S. · Oct 16, 2011 @ 9:39am

'Someone' is already getting killed honey: up to 1000 endangered and protected whales. That is Japan's self-imposes quota but thankfully Sea Shepherd reduce that number more and more every year all without injury to people, neither SS crew nor whaling crew. In the whaling fleet however there have been three deaths including fire, suicide and someone crushed in the factory ships conveyor belt.
   comment# 3   - Sara Keltie · Sydney, Australia · Oct 16, 2011 @ 2:11pm

The sea shepherd bunch seems to be criminals. I'm surprised the whalers don't defend themselves and sink them. It's a shame that they're not concerned with the suffering of humans to include abortion. Wasting all those resources just to pretend that they're doing something "noble". What a joke!!!
   comment# 4   - virgil · san antonio,tx · Oct 16, 2011 @ 4:32pm

To Ms. Medina: If you are so concerned about safety at sea regarding this conflict, there is a very easy solution: Place economic sanctions against Japan for thumbing their nose at IWC agreements and Japanese whaling will end. If President Obama would fulfill his promise of not supporting commercial whaling Sea Shepherd will go elsewhere. But President Obama has NOT fulfilled that promise. The American people do NOT support commercial whaling. When are you and President Obama going to impose sanctions that you know will end Japanese whaling? How dare you point the finger at Sea Shepherd for potential conflicts at sea. If you did your job they wouldn't need to be there. Thankfully for the whales, they are. Stand up. Do your job. No one wants violence, least of all Sea Shepherd. It's the Japanese who are threatening violence. And for what? To kill whales when there is no longer even a market for whale meat? DO you job! Let the Japanese know the U.S. does NOT support commercial whaling.
   comment# 5   - Teresa Wagner · Big Sur, CA · Oct 17, 2011 @ 7:31am

The only violence is that being perpetrated by the Japanese. More power to Sea Shepherd to end the slaughter, while the world's governments stand by and do nothing. Expressions of deep regret won't stop the illegal, immoral, and unethical actions of the Japanese. So, it's up to the Sea Shepherd.
   comment# 6   - Teri Kidd · Illinois, U.S.A. · Oct 17, 2011 @ 6:37pm
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