THE WORLD’S SECOND LARGEST ANIMAL RUNS AGROUND IN IRELAND
A 64 foot fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) the second largest animal in the world ran aground alive near Courtmacsherry in the west of Ireland this January. The animal was in poor condition with its bones visible through its blubber. It was hope that the animal could be saved as putting such a huge creature to sleep is hard as it takes a vast amount of drugs and shooting it with high powered firearms would be the only option.
Sadly the animal died of natural causes. It was probably very weak and ill before it ran around. The creature was buried using two JCBs.
Many fin whales have been recorded off the Irish coast since September 2008. The International Whale and Dolphin Group were working closely with operators to record the whales in the area through photo-identification, where unique markings are recorded to enable them to recognize individuals. To date they have more than 60 fin whales and 10 humpback whales recorded (mostly from West Cork).
According to Greenpeace sources in Surabaya, East Java, the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru II, has been forced to abandon her whale-slaughtering mission and return to port in Indonesian. The Ship has a damaged propeller, rudder and navigation system. The Yushin Maru II being out of commission will significantly decrease the number of whales killed in the southern ocean this season. It is not know if this damage was due to the gallant efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Meanwhile two Greenpeace activists are awaiting trial in Japan for their part in exposing a whale meat scam. Japanese whalers hunt Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) for ‘scientific research’ (what ever the hell that means) but the whale meat is sold on illegaly for huge profints. In 2006 505 minke whales were butcherd by the Japanese fleet.
Not content with this atrocity, Japan is making a mockery of international law by re-flagging and using the refueling tanker, formerly known as the Oriental Bluebird, after it was fined by the Panamanian government for breaching international environmental law Now named the Hiyo Maru - the vessel is still operating with the whaling fleet, without a permit and despite the fact that Japan has ratified a treaty which seeks to ban the practice of reflagging to circumvent environmental law.
SINK THE BASTARDS!
In December 2008, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship Steve Irwin, named after the late, lamented conservationist and crocodile expert, perused the Japanese whaling fleet across the Antarctic.
They found Japanese whalers in the Australian Economic Exclusion Zone at 64°26 South and 132° 40' East. The Steve Irwin launched a Delta boat with a crew to attack the Yushin Maru II with rotten butter bombs. The Sea Shepherd crew pursued and delivered 10 bottles of rotten butter and 15 bottles of a methyl cellulose and indelible dye mixture.
Pursuing this ship and several others the Steve Irwin prevented them from whaling. Captain Paul Watson said… “The Japanese whalers are still targeting whales in the waters of an established international whale sanctuary and thus they are still in violation of international conservation law and acting under the principles of the United Nations World Charter for Nature, we will continue to pursue, harass and intervene against their blatantly illegal lethal assaults on the whales."
The Steve Irwin has a crew of 40 international volunteers and a film crew onboard producing the series Whale Wars. Last year the Sea Shepherd crew pursued the Japanese whaling fleet from early December until mid-March. That intervention cost the whalers over $70 million in lost profits and saved almost 500 whales.
Everyone at the CFZ would like to send out our thanks and admiration to these brave people.