Protests stop Japanese humpback whale killing

This video is about humpback whales mating.

From British daily The Independent:

Japan abandons humpback whale hunt after international outcry

By Carl Freire in Tokyo

Published: 22 December 2007

Japan has suspended its first humpback whale hunt in seas off Antarctica since the 1960s, its government said yesterday, backing down in an escalating international battle over the expansion of its hunt.

Japan dropped the planned taking of 50 humpbacks at the behest of the United States, which chairs the International Whaling Commission (IWC), said Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura. He said the suspension would last a year or two but that there would be “no changes” to Japan’s stance on research whaling itself.

Japan dispatched its whaling fleet last month to the southern Pacific in the first major hunt of humpback whales since the 1960s, generating widespread criticism. Officials said yesterday they had not harpooned any humpbacks.

The move defuses for now a high-profile row with Australia, though Japanese officials deny they were influenced by Canberra’s anti-whaling position. Australia announced on Wednesday that it would dispatch surveillance planes and a ship to gather evidence for a possible legal challenge to the hunt.

It was unlikely, however, to quell the increasingly bold high-seas protests against Japan’s scientific whaling research programme, in which it kills 1,000 whales, mostly minkes, a year in the Pacific.

See also here.

Reaction from Greenpeace: here; from IFAW: here.

Australian scientists studying humpback whales sounds say they have begun to decode the whale’s mysterious communication system, identifying male pick-up lines and motherly warnings: here.

Rudd misleads Australia over whale watching program: here.

5 thoughts on “Protests stop Japanese humpback whale killing

  1. Is infant albino humpack whale wayward calf of Migaloo?

    Article from: The Daily Telegraph

    By Simon Benson

    July 16, 2008 12:00am

    EXCLUSIVE pictures of an infant albino humpback whale off the coast of Sydney have sent Government scientists into a spin, with claims that it could be the wayward calf of Migaloo – and one of the first recorded white whale births.

    The tiny cetacean was discovered cruising off the Royal National Park last week with an adult of normal pigmentation – presumably its mother.

    But the sighting of the whales in southern waters at this time of year – they should be further north, in the warmer waters off the Coral Sea – has raised questions about whether climate change was already having an impact on sea temperatures.
    Save the whale: Read our in-depth section

    A study is now being launched to learn if changes to migratory patterns of whales could be an indicator of more serious oceanic environmental changes.

    NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change Acting Director General Sally Barnes said the all-white calf had “reignited the debate about Migaloo’s stature as a true albino or just a very pale humpback whale”.

    White whale Migaloo was first recorded in 1991 making its way from Antarctica in NSW waters.

    Since then, it has been found that Migaloo was a young male in search of a companion.

    Scientists said it was possible that the white calf was the product of Migaloo’s success.

    “Migaloo is the only documented, all-white humpback whale in the world, making him particularly interesting to wildlife experts, whale-watchers and scientists alike,” said Ms Barnes.

    “He was first reported in 1991 and since that time there have been numerous conjectures as to whether or not his unusual colouring was due to albinism,” she said.

    “Migaloo was sighted travelling with another whale near Coffs Harbour on the north coast in early May this year,” said Ms Barnes.

    “Making him one of the first whales to begin the migration and indicating a clear keenness to reach the breeding grounds up north.

    “It is generally agreed that albino animals typically suffer from low fertility and the chances of any offspring also being albino are slim – but not impossible.

    “We will just have to wait and see if this little calf stays white or grows darker with age – but it is certainly a luminous little whale at the moment,” said Ms Barnes.

    “Monitoring animal behaviour is an important scientific way of gauging the impacts of global warming and rising sea temperatures.

    “The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been monitoring whale movements and numbers for over a decade now and this year joined forces with Macquarie University and their leading aquatic mammal experts to help provide a more comprehensive picture of the impacts climate change might be having on their world,” she said.,22049,24025184-5006009,00.html


  2. Pingback: Japan whaling illegal, Australian court says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Humpback whales, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Save whales, stop Japan-European Union trade agreement | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Good humpback whale news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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