The whales need help from the United States. Japan's whalers continue to kill minke and fin whales in the chilly waters of Antarctica. And, if that's not enough, they are planning to expand their hunt to include humpback whales too. Reasoning, diplomacy and direct action have all failed to stop the hunt so far. Fishing interests that control whaling in Japan simply ignore all critics.
But, we can't give up now. We have to try something new. Japan has a new Prime Minister. Surely, the new leader won't be able to ignore this important issue if our President speaks to him.
The Government of Japan insists that they must be allowed to carry on its 'scientific' hunt in the Antarctic which last year killed almost 700 whales.
President Obama will be in Japan in mid-November. Take action and urge him to talk about whale conservation with the new Japanese Prime Minister when they meet. It's a tiny issue for two heads of government, but it is a very big issue for the whales.
As the new U.S. Commisioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and leader of our IWC delegation, I am urging you to ask President Obama to speak with the new Japanese Prime Minister when they meet in November to address whaling in the Antarctic.
Antarctic whaling is carried out fraudulently under the guise of scientific research and is nothing more than continued commercial whaling. It is carried out 6,000 miles away from Tokyo in one of the word's last great wilderness, one that is recognized as an International Whale Sanctuary, a sanctuary that was created with US support. It contributes nothing to the Japanese economy, and runs at a loss, drawing a subsidy and sinking Japan farther into debt. Mr. President use this opportunity of meeting with Japan's new Prime Minister to call for an end of their whaling in the Southern Ocean. Now is the time to live up to and implement your Administration's stated policy on whale management and conservation:
The United States is committed to advancing the global conservation and management of large whale populations through science-based policies and leadership in the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The United States continues to view the commercial whaling moratorium as a necessary conservation measure and believes that lethal scientific whaling is unnecessary in modern whale conservation management. The United States supports the IWC as the only international management body to monitor and regulate whaling and believes the IWC should be preserved as the premiere international forum for resolving current conservation issues, coordinating critical research, and developing international agreement on whale conservation. (U.S. Department of State Feb. 2009)
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