Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Japanese Whale Hunt Threatens Lone White Whale

Here's some more well-deserved bad press for Japanese whale hunting.

Australians fear that the world's only known white humpback whale could be slaughtered as Japan's whaling fleet prepares to embark on its annual hunt in the Southern Ocean.

The unique male whale, named Migaloo - an Aboriginal word for "white fella" - has become a celebrity in Australia since being spotted for the first time in 1991.

Each year Migaloo - along with thousands of other humpbacks - migrates from the icy seas of Antarctica to the warm shallows of the South Pacific and the Great Barrier Reef.

Conservationists fear that Migaloo is so accustomed to whale watching and fishing boats, that he will be easy pickings for Japanese hunters.

With the southern hemisphere summer approaching, the Japanese whaling fleet is preparing to leave port within days. It refuses to say exactly when.

It has declared that for the first time it will kill 50 humpbacks, as well as 50 fin whales and hundreds of minke whales.

The Japanese argue that after decades of hunting fin and humpback whales have recovered to sufficient levels that they can now withstand being harpooned again.

The Fisheries Agency in Tokyo refused to rule out killing Migaloo today {November 12}, with officials offering a blunt "no comment" to media inquiries.

Instead the agency called on Australia and New Zealand to ensure that the Japanese fleet would be protected from anti-whaling ships operated by a militant environmental group, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Excuse me Japan, but is it so much to ask for that you at least TRY TO AVOID the white whale? He is WHITE ya know, so he should stick out!


Photo by RetroRoger1.

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