Another year begins and whaling is in the news again, with two activist groups disrupting the activities of Japanese whaling vessels.
Both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd argue the Japanese whalers are carrying out commercial operations in what has been designated by Australia as a whale sanctuary. But the Japanese don’t recognise Australia’s territorial claim or the sanctuary and continue to argue strongly their culling of whales is for scientific purposes, a line that’s hotly contested by the green groups.
I’ve been following the whaling story for awhile and have been intrigued by the sheer determination of the Japanese fishing fleet to continue whaling despite strong opposition from many quarters, including Australia, a nation that would normally be an ally of Japan.
I spoke to Junichi Sato, Oceans Project Leader for Greenpeace Japan, to get a better understanding of why these Japanese are so hell-bent on whaling.