Santiago de Chile, January 10, 2010 – Centro Ecoceanos, Centro de Conservación Cetacea and the coalition for the protection of animals EcoAnimal conducted a pacific protest last saturday in front of the japanese embassy in Santiago de Chile with the aim to express their most absolute opposition to the whaling operations in Antarctica as well as to demand the Chilean government to lead actions to stop the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The organizations manifested disappointment due to the long silence of the government of Chile regarding another “scientific whaling” season in the Southern Ocean that this year includes de killing of nearly 1,000 Antarctic minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpback whales.
The NGOs declared that they consider these operations illegal because it is conducted on a commercial scale and the meat and products obtained end up in the japanese market, in violation with the moratorium on commercial whaling implemented by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.
Since that year, Japan has killed more than 8,000 whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
The environmental organizations recalled that “scientific whaling” operations are a threat to the marine ecosystem and have become extremely violent, putting the Antarctic environment and human lives at risk.
For these reasons, the organizations required the Chilean government to express its public opposition to the whaling operations conducted by Japan in the Southern Ocean and to lead actions with other Latin American governments to stop the “scientific” slaughter of whales.
This is the fifth call made by the civil society since October 2009 and the organizations expect to receive a sign from the government to clarify its position regarding “scientific whaling”, since its silence is accomplice of the behavior of Japan.
The organizations recalled that earlier this week, the Chilean Senate adopted by consensus a project of agreement that requests president Michelle Bachelet to take strong actions against the japanese “scientific whaling” operations in Antarctica, and affirmed that they expect a quick response from the government to the Chilean Senate.
The NGOs noted that this is the first time in years that the government has not made any statement against Japan’s “scientific whaling” operations in the Southern Ocean, suggesting that the negotiation process lead by Chilean ambassador and current president of the IWC, Cristian Maquieira, is not moving towards the effective protection of whale populations in the Southern Hemisphere.
The environmental organizations also said that it would be regrettable that the IWC agrees, under the lead of Latin American president, a quick and bad deal that could include the end of the moratorium on commercial whaling and the continuation of “scientific whaling” operations.
The future of the whales is in the hands of Chile and the world is looking with attention what we do as country in this sensitive issue, concluded the NGOs.