Photos of todays Whale Watching action. Photographer Miranda Denner. free to use
Byron Whale Watch Operators + Conservationists oppose Japans Humpback kill plan
Rob Dalton from "Whale Watching Byron Bay" and Dean Jefferys from "Byron Whale Action Group" are two Australians passionately opposed to Japans plan to kill 50 Humpback whales as part of their "Scientific research " program. To express that opposition Whale Watching Byron Bay hosted a Whale Watching tour for whale supporters to make a protest to Japan to keep their harpoons away from Ozzy Humpbacks and in fact all Whales and Dolphins. The tour, along with anti whaling banners, left from the Pass at Byron Bay at 9-30 am on Friday 26th June.
As the International Whaling Commission, IWC, concludes in Madeira, Portugal, it appears Japan has succeeded in maintaining business as usual and will continue to allocate its own quota to kill over a 1000 whales under the disguise of "Scientific research". This is despite the review of its "Scientific research" JARPA 11, being exposed as a sham during questioning at the IWC. With all its good intentions Australia seems unable to close this loophole and reform the IWC into the International Whale Conservation Commission.
Japan is continuing to push for commercial whaling off its shores which goes against the whaling moratorium of 1986 and would set a dangerous precedent that other countries would like to follow. Norway and Iceland have already broken the moratorium and have started killing whales under a commercial hunt.
Australia introduced its global cetacean report at the IWC which says 13 million people went whale watching in 113 countries that spend around 2.1 billion US dollars. In Australia, the whale watching industry is worth over $300 million. Whale watching is one of the fastest growing eco-friendly businesses globally and whaling nations are threatening these businesses with their continuing killing of whales.
Rob Dalton from 'Whale Watching Byron Bay' said " We opposes all forms of commercial whaling including the Japanese scientific whaling program. We are particularly concerned that Japan may include up to fifty humpback whales from the population that migrates along Australia’s east coast. This humpback whale migration is worth millions of dollars to local communities associated with the east coast’s whale watching industry. Including humpback whales in the Japanese quota could have a negative effect on this industry.From an economic perspective whales are worth far more as a living resource rather than an expendable resource."
Dean Jefferys from Byron Whale action group said "I support Australia efforts to try and reform the IWC and develop and promote regional non-lethal cetacean research, yet Peter Garrett seems unable to close Japans "Scientific research " loophole which essentially means nothing has changed at this years IWC and even more whales will be killed this year. Instead of relying on the IWC to save whales I would like to see Peter Garrett honor his pre election promise and take Japan to the "International court of the Seas" As the Rudd government refuses to do this and the IWC seems incapable of conserving whales I am calling on consumers to exercise there power as conscious consumers and boycott the products from the whaling nations such as Japan, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. If these countries refuse to listen to global public opinion on this issue then a global boycott campaign will pressure whaling nations directly to end this outdated and barbaric practice."
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