Male Sea LionSea Shepherd codemns the slaughter of 122 mother whales killed for "scientific purposes" during the 2017-18 Antarctic whaling season (Photo Credit: Tim Watters/Sea Shepherd).

New figures released at the recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee meeting show that 122 mother whales and their babies were slaughtered as part of the Japanese Government's illegal Antarctic whale hunt.

"It’s outrageous that the killing of whales inside an established whale sanctuary continues, with the bloody cruel murder of 333 protected minke whales, 122 of them being expecting mothers, meaning in reality 455 whales are now not swimming freely in our oceans maintaining humanity's primary life support system, our oceans,” said Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director, Jeff Hansen.

"There is still an option for governments to take Japan to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, this is a forum where Japan can be challenged over its poaching activities. Obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention include mandatory dispute resolution, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, and duties to cooperate.

“International law professor and whaling expert Tim Stephens said Australia could put a stop to the practice by taking Japan to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It could be argued Japan is not meeting its international obligations to sustainably protect whales. The tribunal has a system of mandatory dispute settlement, that's very difficult to opt out of. There's really very little Japan could do about it.

“Sea shepherd is also calling on the Australian government to send a vessel to oppose whaling by Japan. This is the promise they made to the people of Australia and what the majority of Australians want to see done,” stated Mr Hansen.

“Sea Shepherd is currently not doing the whale defence campaign off Antarctica against the Japanese whaling fleet. The reason being that due to Sea Shepherd's over a decade of defending the Antarctic whales, this facilitated and pressured the Australian and NZ Governments taking Japan to the International Court of Justice, where they were found to be illegal to which Japan launched a new whaling program of doubling their killing grounds and dropping their self-allocated quota from 1035 whales down to 333.

“This meant that even at our best years down there sending all of our fleet and global funding, we would struggle to save any whales, however, by default due to our work over the years we are saving over 700 whales each year,” Jeff Hansen concluded.

You can read the document here: Results of the third biological field survey of NEWREP-A during the 2017/18 austral summer season


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