On Sunday, a vessel from Japan was caught with a dead minke whale on its deck. Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd released images pertaining to the incident. The photos allegedly showed that Japan has again started whaling off Antarctica.
Japan: Whaling Begins Again
Australia has criticized the nation. In fact, the incident took place two days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Sydney. He visited the country to bolster defense ties with Australia.
Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Environment Minister, also criticized the case. He said it was not at all a requirement to kill whales for study. In addition, he said that his government was extremely disappointed.
“The Australian Government is deeply disappointed that Japan has decided to return to the Southern Ocean this summer to undertake so-called ‘scientific’ whaling,” Frydenberg said. “Australia is opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling.” The Australian Federal Court had ruled Japanese whaling to be illegal, according to BBC.
Sea Shepherd stated that the vessel called Nisshin Maru was seen while it was attempting to cover up a dead minke whale carcass with a tarpaulin sheet. A helicopter went near the vessel, which was on the waters of the Australian Whale Sanctuary, reported CNN. Adam Meyerson, captain of the Ocean Warrior, Sea Shepherd’s newest Southern Ocean patrol ship, said that the crew was caught “red-handed.” The Yushin Maru and Yushin Maru #2, two smaller boats, were also caught covering their harpoons.
Wyanda Lublink is another captain of a Sea Shepherd ship, the MY Steve Irwin. According to Lublink, the Japanese crew was in reality covering up the dead whale and their harpoons. This, according to him, showed that the crew knew that they were doing something wrong all along.
Japan: Turnbull Insisted To Take Action
After the Japanese vessel was caught, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government felt under pressure. Turnbull was asked to take tougher action against the violation of the ICJ ruling, according to The Australian. Labor approached the government to implement all available legal options to end whaling.
Frydenberg stated that Australia would continue its efforts in the International Whaling Commission. He added that they would try to uphold the prohibition on commercial whaling. The government, according to Frydenberg, would also promote whale conservation.