Good news from the high seas: After repeated run-ins with the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Society that have prevented its whaling fleet from a successful hunt, Japan’s government announced it is suspending whaling, possibly for the rest of the season.
Whaling was banned under an international agreement in 1986, but Japan has exploited a loophole in the law to maintain a subsidized whaling fleet that kills hundreds of whales a year “for scientific research purposes.”
In recent years that has become harder, though, as international pressure mounted and the Sea Shepherd Society sent ships down to the Antarctic whaling grounds to get between the Japanese ships and their prey, as dramatically televised on Animal Planet’s reality TV show “Whale Wars”.
Last year only 506 minke whales were taken, far short of the 850 planned. And according to the Sea Shepherds, this year’s catch has been minimal.
“Oh yeah I think you can very well say this is a victory,” Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson told the Wall Street Journal’s Japan Realtime blog by satellite phone from his vessel the Steve Irwin. “This is our best year yet. Every year we come down stronger and every year the whaling fleet comes down weaker.”
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