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Indybay Feature
Sat Mar 12 2011
The End of Commercial Whaling in the Southern Ocean?
Sat Mar 12 2011
Sea Shepherd Activists Succeed in Stopping Japanese Whaling This Season
At a news conference on February 18th, 2011, Japanese Fisheries minister Michihiko Kano stated they will suspend their "research" whaling because the Sea Shepherd activists had succeeded in their attempts to harass those who hunt and kill whales in the Antarctic region. They Japanese have said it has become increasingly difficult to secure the safety of their crew and ships while whaling.

"The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin on February 19th. The Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship made a pivotal course change north, as the Japanese Fisheries Agency announced that the whaling fleet had been recalled for this season. The Japanese whaling fleet, engaged in commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research, has had an extremely poor season being constantly harassed and prevented from whaling in all but a few days. The whaling fleet hadn't even left Japan until early December, much later than usual.

Prior to the end of this year's hunt, it was revealed in a recent Wikileaks release that the director general of Japan’s fisheries agency, Katsuhiro Machida and others actively pushed for the US to take action against Sea Shepherd in order to help stop the disruption of Japan’s annual whale hunt. The US representative to the International Whaling Committee, Monica Medina, tried to convince the European Union and Australia to except a deal that would legalize Japanese whaling. In contrast to Medina’s support of Japanese whaling she expressed ‘‘deep disappointment’’ in Iceland for failing to end whale hunting.

Read More | Japanese suspend their illegal whaling! | Japanese Whaling

Previous Related Indybay Feature: Paul Watson: We Need to Stop Eating the Oceans
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