SYDNEY – The Australian division of anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd is considering possible measures against Japan’s plan to restart commercial whaling in July after a hiatus of 31 years, according to a senior official.
“Our goal is to see an end to whaling in the world’s oceans,” Jeff Hansen, managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia, said in a recent interview. “We are still looking at what we can do” against Japanese whaling.
Sea Shepherd has used extreme measures against Japanese research whaling ships in the Antarctic Ocean, often attacking the whaling vessels from small boats.
Citing countries such as Iceland and Norway in addition to Japan, Hansen said, “We still oppose all whaling” due to “the important role that whales play in the health of oceans and marine ecosystems.”
“Their numbers still haven’t recovered from the days of whaling,” he added.
Although Sea Shepherd is looking at measures against Japanese whaling activities, Hansen said the group has no detailed plan at this stage.
Noting that he heard some Japanese lawmakers are opposed to whaling, Hansen said that a “good movement is coming from within Japan, which gives us hope.” He expressed his hope that Japanese people will “stand up for the protection of whales.”
During the interview, Hansen said that the group is a marine conservation organization” with a focus on “illegal fishing, plastics and climate.”
“We work with governments and provide information to Interpol,” Hansen said, stating that the group has exposed illegal fishing activities, which are a serious problem in Africa.