It is now December 4th, 2011 and we are all wondering what the Japanese is going to do this year. The fact that the Whaling Fleet was supposed to have left port for the Southern Ocean weeks ago, and still have is spinning the gears of governments and non-governmental organizations everywhere.
With their people and economy still reeling from this year’s tragic and horrific earthquake and tsunami, the Japanese government is reportedly proceeding with plans to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean. Even more mind-numbing is news that an additional $28M US will be added to the estimated $40M cost of the program to beef up security for the whaling fleet.
Why would the Japanese send the whaling fleet that costs so much money to run, back down to the Southern Ocean instead of helping the citizens of their own country? A quoted statement from Mark Willacy tells us the answer to that very question,
“The Japanese do not want to give in to Sea Shepherd, they don’t want to bow to the threats and the obstruction they’ve seen on the high seas, they’re going to keep face and they’re going to ensure that whaling will survive,”
“This is a program Japan doesn’t need in a time of financial crisis when there are people without homes, there are communities that have been totally wiped out,” he later added. “That money, that whaling money could possibly be better spent on those sorts of programs. That is probably what the Japanese government is going to now face, that sort of opposition to whaling.”
In addition to the worlds opposition to the practice of whaling, even more are looking down on this country for continuing it in such a time of need and debt.
Last year the whalers left port almost a month late, and they also left the Southern Ocean a month early. This year, with their people being in such need, will they leave at all? There have been reports that the harpoon ships have taken on fuel, but the Nisshin Maru factory ship has not. This raises concerns as well because of a new law involving the fuel the Nisshin uses. It is now prohibited to use crude oil below the 60 degree parallel line. The Japanese are running a fine line so far— violating a global Moratorium against Whaling… Injuring crew… hundreds of millions of dollars in debt… extra funding they don’t have… can they risk yet another fine?
We are all watching the fleet with sharp eyes, and are anticipating their next move. We all hope they don’t go back and whale in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. It’s the holidays so maybe hope will win all. One can only hope…