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“Shocking” Whaling Images Released

The Australian media has been filled with the news of "shocking image" from the Japanese whale hunt:

AUSTRALIA had "shocking" evidence for a legal bid to stop Japanese whaling but little idea of how to pursue the case.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus says the Government is still unsure who it could prosecute, when and in what court.

The Government’s evidence is "shocking images" of the annual whale hunt taken by crew aboard the armed customs patrol vessel Oceanic Viking.

"We have got evidence of whaling being carried out in circumstances that we believe it should not be done," Mr Debus told reporters in Sydney today.

"They will help us to back up the Australian Government’s argument in an international court case, the details of which are still to be worked out, to suggest that whaling should be stopped."  […] According to Environment Minister Peter Garrett, the images of the slaughter mean any legal bid to stop whaling should be an open-and-shut case.  [The Australian]

Maybe it is just me but seems like when you hunt whales that means you kill whales, so I fail to see what is so "shocking" about the fact that Japanese killed some whales.  The image that is making the most impact is this image that the Australian government is claiming is of a mother and calf:

The Japanese however denied this claim which of course the Australian media has failed to report:

The Institute of Cetacean Research has again condemned the Australian media for creating emotional propaganda to mislead the public.

A photo released by the Australian Government Oceanic Viking has carried a headline alleging a mother minke and her calf were taken in the research programme.

The Director General of the ICR, Mr Minoru Morimoto said: The photographs taken by the Oceanic Viking and which major Australian newspapers published today shows two minke whales, but they are not a mother and her calf as claimed by the media.

Our research program requires random sampling of the Antarctic population, and therefore there will be a range of sizes. It is necessary to conduct random sampling of the Antarctic minke population to obtain accurate statistical data.

The smaller of the two whales in the Australian Customs photograph was 5.3 metres in length, while the larger one was 8.3 metres. Both whales were female, and both were not lactating.

The Government of Australia’s photographs and the media reports have created a dangerous emotional propaganda that could cause serious damage to the relationship between our two countries. It is important the Australian public is not misled into believing false information, he said.

Australia’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett is saying that a legal challenge against Japan is a "open and shut case", well if it then arrest them.  Why isn’t the Australian government arresting them?  Could it be because it is not an "open and shut case" and rather what they are doing is legal and the Australian government is just trying to appease public sentiment by taking pictures and saying they are going to do something? 

In other whaling news Norway with little fan fare from the Australian media has announced their quota for the annual whale hunt:

Norway has announced plans to kill 1052 minke whales this year, the Associated Press reports.

This quota is the same as in 2007.

The Fisheries Ministry said 900 whales would be allowed to be caught in coastal areas including the North Sea and the Barents Sea.

Norway resumed whaling in 1993, arguing that otherwise the minke whale population would increase and threaten fish stocks.

The Norwegians are openly hunting commercially and have set a larger quota than the Japanese and yet they get a pass from the eco-loons.  Does anyone think Sea Shepherd and the Greenpeace ships will attack the Norwegian ships and even board them like they did to the Japanese?  

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