Greenpeace Statement on the Departure of Japan's Whaling Fleet

NOVEMBER 18, 2007
12:00 PM

CONTACT: Greenpeace
Steve Smith at (202) 319-2432 or

Greenpeace Statement on the Departure of Japan's Whaling Fleet

WASHINGTON, DC - November 18 - The Japanese government whaling fleet has departed its home port of Shimonoseki, for its biggest hunt since the moratorium on commercial whaling came into being over twenty years ago. The fleet intends to kill more than 1,000 whales while in the Southern Ocean, including 50 endangered fin whales, 50 threatened humpback whales and 935 minke whales.

Speaking from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, currently standing by off the coast of Japan, expedition leader Karli Thomas said "This isnít science Ė itís business masquerading as science. This whaling program is stealing money from Japanese taxpayers, and robbing other countries of much-needed tourist income. The threatened humpbacks targeted by the whalers are part of thriving whale watching industries elsewhere. The whaling fleet must be recalled now. If it is not, we will take direct, non-violent action to stop the hunt. "

Greenpeace is collaborating with Pacific-based scientists through the Great Whale Trail project, demonstrating that whale research can be done effectively and non-lethally. The Great Whale Trail has been monitoring the location of tagged humpback whales as they migrate to the Southern Ocean from the Pacific. The Great Whale Trail website will also track the Japanese whaling fleet as it heads south.

U.S. citizen Heath Hanson, currently onboard the Esperanza, is available for interview. Please contact Steve Smith at (202) 319-2432 or to arrange for an interview. Vision, video, photos, report information

For more information on the great whale trail video, please visit here.