Greenpeace protests whale
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Greenpeace protests whale killings in Japan
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Greenpeace protests whale killings in Japan

Greenpeace activists on Tuesday staged a protest demanding to halt the annual massacre of whales by Japan under the guise of scientific whaling.

New Delhi, May 22 : Greenpeace activists on Tuesday staged a protest demanding to halt the annual massacre of whales by Japan under the guise of scientific whaling.

Activist wearing t-shirts with "Greenpeace --defending our ocean" printed across, pushed a replica of an orca whale commonly known as the killer whale, as they marched towards the Japanese embassy in New Delhi.

With a message of "we love Japan, not whaling" the activists asked the island nation to respect the ban on whaling.

The activists of Greenpeace Oceans Campaign, who presented a memorandum to the Japanese envoy in the country, urged Tokyo to put an end to whaling and scientific culling of the marine mammal.

"We have come here to deliver a very simple message to Japan which says we love Japan not whaling. Whales are dying every year. We think scientific whaling or any kind of commercial whaling under the guise of scientific whaling is totally illegal, unethical and unnecessary. Southern ocean sanctuary is an internationally recognised ocean sanctuary. Whaling there has to stop," said Areeba Hamid, Greenpeace Ocean Campaigner.

Campaigners said in the southern hemisphere, number of blue whales have slumped to 1,700 from 240,000 in 1990. The humpback whale population has fallen to 25,000 from 115,000, and there are only 120 western gray whales left alive.

In 2006, Tokyo managed by one vote, to get the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to agree a weakly worded declaration that the 21-year-old moratorium on commercial whaling was unnecessary, but it did not mount a frontal attack on the ban on whaling itself.

The protest comes a week ahead of a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Anchorage, Alaska on May 28.

Since 1993 the number of whales killed each year has surged to more than 1,900 from 550, and over 30,000 have now been killed since the ban came into force.

Japan kills some 700 whales a year for research. Norway killed nearly 1,000 last year and Iceland killed 60.

Despite claims the killing is for scientific purposes, whale meat is openly sold in Japan where it is a delicacy and Iceland is trying to open up a commercial trade with Tokyo.

The IWC's members are bitterly divided over the global moratorium onhaling, which Japan and other nations such as Norway oppose.

India a participating member of the IWC since 1981 has consistently opposed commercial whaling and was one of the key supporters for the formation of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary for Whales.


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