Primary Focus: To convince the International Whaling Commission to deny Japan's most recent request for a commercial whaling program in coastal waters.
Secondary Focus: To convince the IWC to close the loophole that allows Japan to kill protected Minke and endangered humpback and fin whales in the protected Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Background Info: Japan uses a "loophole" to kill whales in a protected whale sanctuary claiming they are doing perfectly legal research activities. However, the meat is packaged and frozen for commercial distribution on a large "mothership" called the Nisshin Maru that travels with the Japanese Whaling Fleet. It is widely known, and agreed by experts, including the IWC that Japan's research isn't substantial enough to justify the killing of these great whales.
In 2007, the IWC issued "Resolution 2007-1" which states:
the IWC is:
CONVINCED that the aims of JARPA II do not address critically important research needs;
FURTHER CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to suspend indefinitely the lethal aspects of JARPA II conducted within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Resolution 2007-1 (RESOLUTION ON JARPA) is located on the IWC's website at:
Despite this, Japan uses their leverage against much smaller island nations to get them to join the IWC and vote in their favor in return for "favors", or kickbacks to their country. This provides them with enough votes to continue their research program.
HOW THIS PETITION WILL HELP END WHALING
Recently the United Nations passed new laws that will ban the Nisshin Maru from operating in the Southern Oceans using heavy oil. The ship can be operated of course with alternative oils, but at a much greater cost - a cost that Japan does not want to pay, since their whaling program is losing money each year. Thus, Japan is looking for a new way to keep their research whaling in "business".
The idea they came up with is to make a "deal" to the IWC:
"Let us have a commercial whaling operation in our coastal waters, and we'll scale back our research whaling in the Southern Oceans".
We intend to get this petition read in open session at the June 2010 IWC meeting to speak with a strong and clear united voice that we, as a global community, do not want Japan to have a commercial whaling program in their coastal waters and that the IWC should close the loophole in current regulations that allows Japan to slaughter whales in a protected whale sanctuary.
Our main hope is that at the very least, the IWC will deny Japan%u2019s request for commercial whaling. At least with that, it will be economically unfeasible for them to continue their whaling program in the Southern Oceans due to the sharply increased cost of operating the Nisshin Maru south of 60 degrees.
Oceanic Rescue and Cetacean Action Society
We the undersigned, and citizens from varying nations, cultures and race; come together to speak as a single voice through this petition to urge the member nations of the International Whaling Commission to respectfully deny any and all request to resume commercial whaling.
It is our informed opinion, based on the paper Are Antarctic minke whales unusually abundant because of 20th century whaling?, which was published in the Journal Molecular Ecology, December 2009, that there is a substantial debate of genetic ocean-wide diversity of minke whales and pre-whaling population estimates.
Due to the fact that the international scientific community is not in consensus of these highly important figures, it is not appropriate to resume commercial whaling at this time.
We believe that the international scientific community must be at consensus with pre-whaling era populations, before it can be determined if there are sustainable whale stocks. Therefore, we repeat, now is not the correct time to resume to commercial whaling in a responsible manner.
We request and appreciate the International Whaling Commission for reading this petition in public session so that it is on public record with the number of petition signers, and we further thank all member nations for their consideration to oppose and deny any and all request for commercial whaling in 2010.