FLEUR SHACK is an Ardross resident and passionate animal welfare advocate. As we pick up the story about the sad last days of the young Minke whale forlornly named Hope by supporters, her tarpaulin-covered carcass is being taken into the Japanese village Taiji by local fishermen.
MESSAGES of rage and sadness at Japan flooded social media.
The minke was taken to the slaughterhouse.
Ren has posted that only once did the fishermen attempt to release the whale out of the nets. This was on December 24, and was just 10 minutes’ effort in 19 days.
In the waters of Taiga, the dolphin hunters and fishermen go out daily and would pass the fixed fishing net where Hope was trapped since Christmas Eve. Yet, despite world awareness and polite appeals to Japan for its release, they did nothing to prevent it slowly starving to death.
The problem with deep sea fishing and the nets used is the amount and type of bycatch.
Whaling is still pursued by Norway, Iceland and Japan. Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd pursued the Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean sanctuary who were hunting humpbacks, minke and sei whales through its ‘scientific’ whaling program.
We need to continue fighting for all commercial whaling to cease.
The people of Fremantle have always been ardent in their support for a stop to whaling, a large contributor in helping to stop scientific whaling in our Southern Ocean.
Anti-whaling groups such as Sea Shepherd have received incredible support from the Fremantle community. Actively involved from 2002 Sea Shepherd pursued the Japanese whalers deep into the Southern Ocean as the ghastly practice of slaughtering whales continued unabated.
During Japan’s scientific whaling program Fremantle became the home port for Sea Shepherd as they defended the whales from Japan’s whaling ships and their harpoons.
Much needed funds were raised through ship visits for their campaigns. Fremantle docks were lined up with hundreds of visitors. This was so encouraging to see.
When I watched captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd manoeuvring his ship between the whales and Japan’s killing factory ships, I was inspired by the way he defended the whales from those deadly exploding harpoons.
Fremantle joined the fight for saving the whales in the Southern Ocean by supporting the anti-whaling campaigns.
Mayor Peter Tagliaferri made Fremantle a home port for Sea Shepherd, a safe haven where their ships could restock before the long journey to the killing fields. Also, the current mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt is an active supporter.
I will always think of the people of Fremantle with respect because they responded to the anti-whaling campaigns with such enthusiasm, signing petitions and donating much needed funds and volunteering.
In the wake of the Minke’s traumatic death, I know we will continue to fight against violence to all sea life. We must do this as the ocean is their home and we must defend their freedom.
I would like to thank Life Investigation Agency and Dolphin Project who pursued this issue on the ground with daily live streaming to the world, brought to us by Ren Yabuki and Kunito Seko.
I would also like to acknowledge The Women of The World Against Taiji for their active involvement in this ordeal to try and save this poor minke’s life by sharing contacts through social media every day of this emergency.
I believe Hope is a martyr and by bringing this death to the world’s attention we may save future whales and bycatch victims from similar tragic circumstances.