Saving whales not a joke

No whales have been killed in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary for the past 10 days. If that’s not whale conservation, I don’t know what is.

In yesterday’s The Daily Telegraph, Tory Maguire questions how much of what she terms a “boy’s own adventure” in the Southern Ocean has to do with whale conservation. From a Greenpeace perspective, everything.

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza’s pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet since January 12 has resulted in not one whale being killed in that time.

Greenpeace goes to the Southern Ocean to save whales – and protest the Japanese whaling fleet’s operations – in the most public way to the world, and to the Japanese.

Any suggestion that this is a “boy’s own adventure” is an offence to the dedicated activist crew aboard the Esperanza.

As a Greenpeace anti-whaling campaigner, I can say that we are not locked in battle with anyone other than whalers.

Supposedly we are trying to outdo another environmental organisation by producing adrenalin-junkie heroes.

The more time spent discussing the media beat-up about differences between our organisations is less time spent pressuring the Japanese Government to end whaling – which is the Greenpeace focus.

For the record, and counter to the spin in the “Troubled Waters” feature in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph, it is the Esperanza’s achievement in keeping the Nisshin Maru factory ship on the run which has halted the whaling program for the last 10 days.

Whilst the factory ship is speeding to outrun the Esperanza, she cannot transfer any whale carcases so the catcher ships, like the Yushin Maru No. 2, are not hunting.

However, Greenpeace campaigns all year round to save whales from the harpoons.

People don’t hear about it because political lobbying doesn’t make headlines.

Most importantly, Greenpeace is currently running a highly effective campaign in Japan with real results.

This is why The Daily Telegraph petition, aimed at the Democratic Party of Japan, is also important in the broader campaign to end whaling.

I invite everyone to sign the petition at