In July 2000 The Australian Whale Sanctuary was created under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999, and includes the waters within Australia's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone adjacent to the Australian Antarctic Territory. Under the EPBC Act hunting whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary is a serious offence attracting heavy penalties. The Japanese whaling operation is in violation of many international laws and regulations, including:
%u2022 Violating the Southern Ocean Sanctuary
%u2022 violating the (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling.
%u2022 Targeting endangered fin and humpback whales that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. (CITES).
%u2022 The Japanese whalers are also in violation of the Australian laws protecting the Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.
Japan is a signatory of CITES, yet ignores its responsibilities to protect the whales in the Whale Sanctuary. These whales do not belong to Japan to kill at their will, and the government is ignoring the pleas of multitudes of outraged people around the world to end the useless and wasteful slaughter of these highly intelligent marine mammals. Many environmental organizations say the hunts are a pretext to keep Japan%u2019s tiny whaling industry alive.
The annual %u2018drive%u2019 hunt of dolphins has begun at Taiji Bay, Japan, and resulting in a bloodbath and the death of over 20,000 dolphins and small whales from October to April every year. This is sanctioned by the Japanese Government who hand out quotas on how many animals can be taken in the hunt. These cetaceans are corralled into bays and suffer a painful and inhumane death by hooks, spears, clubs and drowning. A small number of these dolphins will be sold to aquariums, water parks, or %u2018swim with dolphin%u2019 programs.
The %u2018drive%u2019 hunts target Risso%u2019s dolphin, spotted and striped dolphin, short-finned pilot whales and false killer whales, of which the status of each species is either threatened, endangered or unknown.
Scientific studies reveal that the oceans are in decline from over-exploitation and it clearly shows that Japan has little regard for the condition of the oceans.
The slaughtered dolphins from the %u2018drive%u2019 hunts will more than likely be misleadingly sold as whale meat, dog pellets and cat food.
Whale and dolphin meat contain highly toxic levels of methylmercury, bucella, cadmium, parthochlorines, PCB,s and dioxins, meaning that whale and dolphin meat is poisonous and unfit for human consumption, especially pregnant women, as the fetus can be affected and cause many problems for the newborn child.
Japan and Norway warn pregnant women against consumption of whale meat, yet the Japanese Government promotes whale meat as a health product and sells it in schools, restaurants and hotels.
With only a small minority of Japanese citizens consuming whale meat there are 1000%u2019s upon 1,000's of tons of frozen whale meat in storage, and unwanted by the majority of the population.
Whale Call protests that it is totally unacceptable for Japanese whalers to illegally enter and slaughter whales in their supposed safe sanctuary in Australian Antarctic Territorial waters.