Tag Archives: whaling

Japan kills 30 minke whales in first hunt since ICJ ruling

By Jack Simpson, June 14, 2014.  Source: The Independent

Photo from the Independent

Photo from the Independent


Japan has caught 30 minke whales in its first hunt since the International Court of Justice ordered the halt of its annual expedition in the Antarctic.

A report by the Japanese Fisheries Agency said that 30 minke whales had been killed during the April-June whaling season as part of its “research hunts” in the north-west Pacific Ocean.

They also said that another group of whalers were still hunting in a more remote part of the ocean.

The news of Japan’s decision to continue with its whaling programme in the Pacific will come as a shock to the International Court of Justice, which in March ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling should be stopped.

After being brought in front of the ICJ by the Australian and New Zealand governments, it was argued that Japan’s “scientific” whaling programme was merely commercial whaling in disguise

The ICJ ruled that while JARPA II could broadly be characterised as “scientific research”, Japan had not sufficiently justified the whaling quotas it had set, and that they should cease the programme immediately.

Following the ruling, Japan agreed to stop whaling in the Antarctic for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the court’s ruling only discussed Japan’s JARPA II whaling programme in the Antarctic and made no mention of its annual hunts in the Pacific.

This has meant that Japan has been able to continue to hunt whales in the Pacific.

Japan has long argued that their whaling is scientific and crucial to understanding whale populations worldwide. It also says that whaling is a part of Japanese culture that is “culturally misunderstood” by the international community.

It is believed that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to redesign the country’s scientific whaling research programme and push for the moratorium on commercial whaling to be lifted. Continue reading

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Iceland’s Captain Ahab runs ships on whale oil

Note: A wealthy Icelandic entrepreneur killing whales to fuel his fleet of whaling ships?  While this might be beyond the tip of the iceberg, it is certainly not the only example of the problems caused by addressing the world’s energy problems with “renewable energy” or biofuels without addressing problems of consumption and the complete disregard for the value of living things.  From hunting camels in Australia to generate carbon credits to killing whales for “green” energy, it is clear that solutions rooted in capitalist, business-friendly ideology are making the problem worse.  Sociopaths like Loftsson, who want to treat every living thing as a piece of property they can use to get richer, need to be stopped.  Maybe we can launch them into outerspace in Richard Branson’s space ship!

-The GJEP Team

By Jonathan Leake, February 10, 2013.  Source: The Sunday Times

Whalers cut open a 35-ton fin whale off the coast of Iceland. Photo: Halldor Kolbeins

Whalers cut open a 35-ton fin whale off the coast of Iceland. Photo: Halldor Kolbeins

AN ICELANDIC entrepreneur has created a new “biofuel” using whale oil — which he then uses to power his whale-hunting ships.

Kristjan Loftsson, who runs a business catching fin whales around Iceland, claims his biofuel, a mixture of 20% whale oil and 80% diesel, is the world’s greenest.

Loftsson says the oil is doubly environmentally friendly because he uses geothermal energy from Iceland’s volcanic vents to melt the whale carcasses to extract the oil.

However, a leading whale conservation group described the practice as “completely perverse and unethical”. Loftsson says each boat burns the equivalent of one whale a day during the hunting season, saving hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

Fin whales are classed as “endangered” — at very high risk of extinction — by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Past hunting of the nearly 40-ton creatures nearly wiped them out…

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Oceans