Japanese whalers condemned


Japanese whalers condemned

SYDNEY — Greenpeace here has condemned the recent departure of Japan's whaling fleet for Antarctica. In a November 19 statement, campaigner Peter Gill criticised the Japanese government for disguising its whaling as scientific research, and called for the ship, the Nisshin Maru, to be recalled immediately.

Greenpeace says that Japan's "scientific whaling" program will kill 300 minke whales in the Antarctic this year.

The whaling has been repeatedly criticised by the scientific advisory body of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) because the data the Japanese provide are not needed for the management of whaling.

While the scientific results of the research program may be irrelevant, the 600 tonnes of frozen whale meat "samples", sold each year on the Tokyo market for roughly $10 million (wholesale), is of enormous interest to retailers in Japan.

This year, the Japanese fleet will use a new factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, smaller than its predecessor, the Nisshin Maru III, which is believed to have been sold.

"This ship should be recalled immediately", said Gill. "Japan does not need a fresh investment in whaling, it needs a new approach to wildlife."