Japan’s Whaling Research is Illegal

whale8

International Court Rules Japan’s ‘Research’ Whaling Illegal in Landmark Case

In a stunning victory for the whales, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announced their binding decision today in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked. The news was applauded and celebrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Australia, both of which have directly intervened against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.

Representing Sea Shepherd in the courtroom to hear the historic verdict were Captain Alex Cornelissen, executive director of Sea Shepherd Global and Geert Vons, director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands. They were accompanied by Sea Shepherd Global’s Dutch legal counsel.

The case against Japan was heard by the ICJ in July of last year to decide whether Japan is in breach of its international obligations in implementing the JARPA II “research” program in the Southern Ocean, and to demand that Japan cease implementation of JARPA II and revoke any related permits until Japan can make assurances that their operations conform with international law.

In a vote of 12 to four, the ICJ ruled that the scientific permits granted by Japan for its whaling program were not scientific research as defined under International Whaling Commission regulations. It ordered that Japan revoke the scientific permits given under JARPA II and refrain from granting any further permits under that program.

Prior to the verdict, there had been some speculation that the ICJ would not permit the hunting of endangered fin and humpback whales, but it would compromise and allow the hunting of minke whales. However, it has been Sea Shepherd’s contention all along that—no matter the species—no whales should be killed, especially in a sanctuary. Sanctuary means “a place of refuge or safety; a nature reserve” where animals are protected. To allow killing in an internationally designated sanctuary is to make a mockery of international agreements made by those countries who established the sanctuary in 1994. At that time, 23 countries supported the agreement and Japan was the only International Whaling Commission (IWC) member to oppose it.

Even the Ambassador from Japan to the U.S., Kenichiro Sasae, during a public meeting in Los Angeles in Dec. 2013 attended by representatives of Sea Shepherd USA, had this to say about whales and whaling: “As an individual, I like whales and if you go out and see the whales, there is no reason for us to kill this lovely animal. But it’s history and it’s politics, I would say. There are a small number of Japanese people still trying to get this won. But mainstream Japanese are not eating whale anymore.” At the same meeting, Ambassador Sasae stated that Japan will abide by the ICJ ruling.

“With today’s ruling, the ICJ has taken a fair and just stance on the right side of history by protecting the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the vital marine ecosystem of Antarctica, a decision that impacts the international community and future generations,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen of Sea Shepherd Global.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s international volunteer crew stood on the frontlines in the hostile and remote waters of Antarctica for eight years and then Sea Shepherd Australia took up that gauntlet for the last two years and will keep confronting Japanese whalers in Antarctica until we can once and for all bring an end to the killing in this internationally designated “safety zone” for whales.

Over the years, Sea Shepherd has been the only organization to directly intervene against Japan’s illegal commercial whaling conducted under the guise of research, with their claims of research globally questioned. Indeed, Sea Shepherd has been the only thing standing between majestic whales and the whalers’ harpoons, as these internationally protected species—many of them pregnant—migrate through Antarctic waters each year.

“Though Japan’s unrelenting harpoons have continued to drive many species of whales toward extinction, Sea Shepherd is hopeful that in the wake of the ICJ’s ruling, it is whaling that will be driven into the pages of the history books,” Cornelissen said.

“Despite the moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan has continued to claim the lives of thousands of the gentle giants of the sea in a place that should be their safe haven,” said Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson. “Sea Shepherd and I, along with millions of concerned people around the world, certainly hope that Japan will honor this ruling by the international court and leave the whales in peace.”

Sea Shepherd Global will have the ships prepared to return to the Southern Ocean in Dec. 2014 should Japan choose to ignore this ruling. If the Japanese whaling fleet returns, Sea Shepherd crew will be there to uphold this ruling against the pirate whalers of Japan.

whale-420x0

This-photo-taken-on-June-25-2008-shows-a-Japanese-fishermen-cutting-up-a-10m-long-bottlenose-whale-AFP

 

 

 

Advertisements

Wildlife Hospital for Nepal

Image

Nepal’s endangered animals will have access to new veterinary facilities

Nepal’s first wildlife hospital is to be built in Chitwan National Park, thanks to support by Denver Zoo in the US. The park is a World Heritage reserve that protects more than 900 sq km of forest, marsh and grassland with their accompanying wildife, including one horned rhinos, Bengal tigers and Gharial crocodiles, but until now it has not had bespoke medical services.

The zoo has verbally assured its financial assistance to the tune of $150,000 (£91,000) to build a hospital that will treat injured and endangered wild animals from the park. Up to now, basic medical care has been provided by four veterinary practices in villages around the park, which cater mostly for domestic and farm animals. This has amounted to only 50-60 cases per practice per year. Once the new facility has been built, many more wild animals stand to benefit.

Image

New Beer has whale meat as ingredient

Image

Whale meat ingredient for new beer

An Icelandic brewery is going to produce a beer that includes dead whales as one of its ingredients has dismayed conservationists across the globe. ‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Icelandic Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur, and its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) held in honour of the Norse god, Thor.

Brewery owner, Dabjartur Arilíusson, said: “This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf. Whale beer will include, among other things, whale meal.”

“The WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) has become increasingly used to Hvalur’s desperate hunts for new outlets for his whale meat,” says Vanessa Williams-Grey, WDC’s Icelandic whaling campaign lead. “Demand for this meat is in decline with fewer and fewer people eating it. Even so, reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get. The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?”

Image

Image

Chinese say NO to Ivory

Image

Influential Chinese business leaders say no to ivory

More than 30 business leaders in China have taken a public stand against the ivory trade by signing a pledge to never purchase, possess, or give ivory as a gift. The group includes Charles Chao, CEO of Sina Corp., China’s largest Internet portal, Liu Chuanzhi, Chair of Lenovo, and 10 individuals from the Forbes 2013 China Rich List including Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group. “As China grows up, Chinese companies should do the same and take on more social responsibility,” said WildAid China Chair, Huang Nubo who spearheaded the campaign. “This is why we are joining efforts to protect our planet’s wildlife. We hope this ethic becomes engrained in us and is passed down to future generations.”

The Chinese government crushed more than six tonnes of its ivory stockpile earlier this year and is considering ending legal ivory sales, which have been shown to enable laundering of poached ivory.

Ivory Pledge

IN RECENT YEARS, POACHING AS A RESULT OF THE TRADE IN ILLEGAL IVORY IS POSING ENORMOUS THREATS TO THE SURVIVAL OF ELEPHANTS. I’M AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:

1. Each year around 25,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory

2. The population of elephants has declined 62% in the last 10 years

3. Rampant elephant poaching is having negative impacts on the economy, tourism, and national security of many African nations

4. Terrorist groups in Africa are being supported in part through the illegal ivory trade

5. According to official reports and statistics, China is the largest importer of illegal ivory, and Chinese nationals are increasingly involved in the illegal ivory trade

6. Illegal ivory trade is damaging China’s international reputation.

Because of this, I pledge the following:

1. I will not purchase, possess, or give ivory as a gift

2. I will encourage friends, family, and employees to not purchase ivory products

Signatories

Cao Guowei (Charles Chao) – CEO, Sina CorpDeng Feng – CEO and Chairman, Beiji Guangfeng Investment Fund Ding Liguo – Founder, Liguo Corp. Feng Lun – Chairman, Vantone Holdings Huang Nubo – Chairman, Zhongkun GroupJiang Xipei – Chairman, Yuandong HoldingsLi Dongsheng – Chairman, TCL Group Li Shufu – Chairman, Geely Group Li Zhenfu – China Regional President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Liu Chuanzhi – Chairman, Lenovo Liu Donghua – Founder, Zhenghedao Group Liu Jiren – Chairman, Dongruan Group Liu Jun – Deputy Chairman, Guangxi People’s Congress CommitteeMa Yun (Jack Ma) – Founder, Alibaba Group Niu Gensheng – Founder, Lao Niu Foundation Shen Guojun – CEO and Chairman, Yintai Holdings Corp. Tang Yue – Founding Partner, Blue Mountain China Capital Wang Chaoyong – Founder and President, Xinzhongli International Holdings Wang Junhao – Deputy Chairman, Junyao Group Wang Lifen – Founder, Beijing Youshimi Internet Technology Co. Ltd.Wang Wenjing – CEO and Chairman, Yongyou Software Corp.Wang Zhongjun – Chairman, Huaiyi Brothers Media Corp. Wu Jianmin – Deputy Director, China External Affairs Committee Wu Yajun – Chairman, Longhu Group Xia Hua – Chairman, Yiwen Enterprise Group Xie Mian – Art and culture criticXu Shaochun – Founder, Jindie Software GroupXu Zhihong – Scholar, China Academy of ScienceYang Shaopeng – Chairman, Haifeng International Shipping Corp.Yu Minhong – Founder, New Oriental GroupYuan Yue – Chaiman, Lingdian Consulting Zhang Weiying – Renowned Economist Zhang Xingsheng ( Jim Zhang) – Managing Directory, The Nature Conservancy Greater China Region Zhou Qiren – Dean, Peking University National Development AcademyZhou Qifeng – Renowned Chemist Zhu Xinli – Chairman, Beijing Huiyuan Beverage Company

Both my self and the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival is grateful to the individuals above that have taken the necessary steps to preserve biodiversity on our planet and save elephant and rhino from extinction.

Image

Copenhagen Zoo Kills Again

Image

The same Danish Zoo that killed and publicly dissected Marius the giraffe last month is sadly back in the news. Today, March 25, 2014, two adult lions and their two 10-month-old cubs have been euthanized to make room for a new male.

The Copenhagen Zoo released a statement in an attempt to explain their reasoning: “Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” the statement read. According to zoo officials, the new male lion would have killed the young cubs “as soon as he got the chance.” The zoo claims it tried to find a new home for the lion family, but was unsuccessful.

Unlike Marius, the lions won’t be cut up in public, because “not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience,” a zoo spokesman said.

The new lion is set to arrive in a few days. The zoo is bringing him in to start a new pride as part of its lion breeding program.

Why is it necessary to kill four healthy lions to breed more lions? And when the zoo is done with the new male lion, will they euthanize him to? Is it possible with all of the zoos, sanctuaries and animal groups around the world, no one was willing to care for the lion family.

Image

World’s biggest online ivory and whale meat retailer exposed

Image

World’s biggest online ivory and whale meat retailer exposed

A report by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Humane Society International has exposed Japanese retail giant Rakuten as the world’s biggest online marketplace for elephant ivory and whale meat products.

The report “Blood e-Commerce: Rakuten’s profits from the slaughter of elephants and whales” –reveals that the company’s Japanese website carries more than 28,000 ads for elephant ivory products and some 1,200 whale meat products ads.

EIA President Allan Thornton said: “Rakuten’s ads are effectively as deadly as giving bullets to elephant poachers and harpoons to whalers. Rakuten must act immediately to ban all ads selling elephant and whale products or its global brand will be irrevocably tainted with the ongoing mass slaughter of these species.”

The report stated “Many of the whale products originated from species that have been protected since 1986 under the moratorium on commercial whaling established by the International Whaling Commission, The species receive the highest level of protection by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which prohibits international trade.”

“We call on Rakuten subsidiaries in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Austria and elsewhere to urgently press Rakuten headquarters in Japan to ban all ads offering ivory and whale products,” said Kitty Block, vice-president of HSI.

Ratuken has major stakes in the websites Buy.com, Play.com, the e-book reader Kobo and is a major shareholder in Pinterest.

Image

Image

Image

Fatwa Issued Against Wildlife Trafficking

 

My good friend Bryan Christy, wrote the following article:

Illegally-imported orang-utan Cambodia