(That’s me, in the black top, just above the ‘D’ in Fukuda)
It’s not often that I get to hassle two world leaders in one day. If I get my almost finished rant about Bertie Ahern finished, I’ll be up to three in one day – from a boat too, believe it or not. Yes, I’m back at sea again, sitting here on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, coming to blather.net via satellite from somewhere south of Japan. This time, I’m Communications Officer. Irene is the webbie this time. She writes:
“So here we are, just outside Japanese territorial waters. It looks like the Japanese whaling fleet does not want to leave the port of Shimonoseki just yet. At least not as long as the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is in Washington having meetings with President George W. Bush. There is an obvious risk of political embarrassment, especially when dealing with countries like the USA, which supports whale conservation.”
More: The whaling fleet delays departure and hides in port »
Elsewhere, Brian has just posted this blog:
“Greenpeace and the Japanese Fisheries Agency have been locked in conflict over whaling for a long time, and sometimes the game of figuring out your opponent’s moves can look an awful lot like the old Mad Magazine comic, Spy vs. Spy.”
“Here’s an interesting one: a rumour from a well-placed source that the Japanese Fisheries Agency has decided to quietly abandon plans to hunt 50 threatened humpbacks as part of their psuedo-research whaling efforts this year.”
More: Rumours from Tokyo: Humpbacks to be spared the harpoon?
This is pretty incredible. Of course, it may be a red herring – if everyone gets excited about the humpbacks – which are threatened and very iconic – but then everyone forgets about the 50 endangered fin whales and the 935 minke whales that the whaling fleet plans to kill over the next few months.
“Now at this stage all we have is an unconfirmed rumour. And we don’t know whether this was a decision taken over fears that selling the whalemeat from the “scientific” hunt might be a violation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, or if there were concerns about public outrage over the killing of the sea’s most charismatic of whales, or — who knows — they’ve been convinced by the case we’re making for non-lethal research via the Great Whale Trail.”
So, we wait, and see… humpbacks or not, when the whaling fleet leaves port, we’ll be sticking with them, all the way to the Southern Ocean from Japan.