term whale can refer to all cetaceans, to just
the larger ones, or only to members of particular
families within the order Cetacea. The last definition
is the one followed here. Whales are those cetaceans
which are neither dolphins (i.e. members of the
families Delphinidae or Platanistoidae) nor porpoises.
This can lead to some confusion because Orcas
(Killer Whales) and Pilot whales have "whale"
in their name, but they are dolphins for the purpose
of classification. (Credit:
of public opinion forces hunt backdown By Lauren
Williams and David Barrett - 21st December 2007
The Daily Telegraph)
voice of ordinary Australians, led by The Daily
Telegraph's Save the Whales campaign, forced Japan's
humiliating backdown on the slaughter of humpback
than 61,000 people signed the Save the Whales
petition since it was launched just over two weeks
ago - and Japan last night admitted the widespread
outrage had been a factor in the country's decision.
consider whales to be very affectionate, something
I can't really relate to. But apparently they
give names to every whale and there's quite strong
public sentiment," Japan's chief government
spokesman Nobutaka Machimura said.
campaigner Isabel Lucas last night described the
announcement as "wonderful news".
confident that the pressure from citizens all
over the world has influenced their decision,"
Lucas said last night.
our humpbacks will be protected but we must, repeat
we must, continue our efforts to protect the other
Government will obviously support popular opinion
and this is an example of that popular support."
former Home and Away star decided to speak out
after being reduced to tears as she and fellow
anti-whaling campaigners Dave Rastovich and Hannah
Fraser watched helplessly as pilot whales were
slaughtered in Japan last month.
couldn't save these whales, but hopefully shining
the light on their deaths will save others,"
Australia Pacific CEO Steve Shallhorn last night
paid tribute to the strong opposition of the Australian
people to the Japanese whaling program, including
readers of The Daily Telegraph.
is a direct result of the outpouring of support
from Australians such as those who signed The
Daily Telegraph petition," Mr Shallhorn said.
Shallhorn said many whale species were threatened
and more needed to be done to bring whaling to
a complete stop.
think this is a significant climbdown for the
Japanese government," he told reporters in
intention has been to increase the number of whales
and the number of species (targeted by whalers)...
so this would not have been easy for them."
Shallhorn said a protest letter signed by 31 countries
that Australia passed to the Japanese government
would have influenced the decision.
said that although the Japanese government made
the announcement before the note was delivered,
they would have known it was coming.
think that protest would have been felt in Tokyo
and would have been one of the reasons why the
Japanese government has offered a little bit of
a compromise here," he said.
note is a significant escalation of world opposition
to Japanese whaling in the southern ocean.
number of countries to sign the protest note is
quite high and includes all of the major countries
who are members of the International Whaling Commission."
Shallhorn said Japan's decision was a victory
for people power and showed the new federal government
was clearly reacting to Australians fed up with
Japan's whaling program.
said that cabinet documents from Japan showed
their intention to move towards commercial whaling.
statement by the cabinet reaffirms what we have
been saying for many years, which is that the
hunt in the Southern Ocean is a commercial hunt
and that is the Japanese policy," he said.
intend to continue and expand that hunt."
Shallhorn said the Greenpeace ship Esperanza was
on its way to the Southern Ocean.
will use our inflatable rubber boats and put ourselves
between the whales and the gunners' harpoon,"
Shallhorn said Greenpeace was calling on the Japanese
government to pledge to not build a new whaling
calls on the Japanese government to recall its
fleet and to halt all whaling in the southern
Hunter' Widow to Launch Whale Research
'Crocodile Hunter' widow Terri Irwin to launch
non-lethal whale research in Antarctic waters
- 26th December 2007
widow of TV "Crocodile Hunter" Steve
Irwin announced Thursday she will launch non-lethal
research of whales in Antarctic waters next year
in hopes of showing that Japan's scientific whale
kill is a sham.
has staunchly defended its annual cull of more
than 1,000 whales as crucial for research, saying
it is necessary to kill the whales to properly
gather information about their eating, breeding
and migratory habits.
and anti-whaling nations say the slaughter is
commercial whaling in disguise, because much of
the meat from the whales ends up being sold commercially.
Irwin said that a whale watching program she started
to honor her late husband would expand into scientific
research in 2008. Steve Irwin, the high-profile
wildlife show host and environmental campaigner,
was killed by a stingray last year off Australia's
Great Barrier Reef.
are working with Oregon State University to do
formalized research in the southern hemisphere,"
Terri Irwin told the Nine Network television.
"We can actually learn everything the Japanese
are learning with lethal research by using non-lethal
whaling fleet is run by a government-backed research
institute and operates under a clause in International
Whaling Commission rules that allows whales to
be killed for scientific purposes.
had planned to kill up to 50 endangered humpback
whales this season, but backed away from the plan
in the face of strong international condemnation.
are determined to show the Japanese they can stop
all whaling, not just humpbacks," Irwin said.
details of Irwin's planned research program were
not immediately available.
this month, Irwin threw her support behind a radical
conservation group that has vowed to disrupt Japan's
annual whale hunt, allowing the U.S.-based Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society to rename one of
its flagship vessels after her late husband.
Shepherd has come under heavy criticism in recent
years for engaging in violent tussles with the
Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters.
Peace Arch Entertainment's
'Luna: Spirit of the Whale' Nominated for Canadian
Film and Television Production Assn.'s Prestigious
The Whales Again!
Spirit of the Whale
and the environment