The latest media reports say that the Japanese have resumed whaling operations, even with the Australian Customs vessel Oceanic Viking watching what the fleet does.
As far I as I am concerned, this goes to prove a couple of things.
Firstly, that regardless of what legal action Australia may take against the Japanese whalers, they have no intention of stopping their supposed research. All Japan has to do if threaten a long legal battle or to stop trading with Australia, and the government will fall to it’s knees apologising, and begging to be forgiven.
Proof of this can be shown by how quiet the Minister for the Environment, Peter Garret has been throughout all of this. There has not been one ministerial press release about the issue of whaling since he took office. He has released statements about the phase out of plastic bags, the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger, and even taken a flight down to Antarctica for the inaugural flight of Airlink.
The only time that whaling has been mentioned was in a joint press release on 18 December 2008 with the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He even has a whale pictured on the header of his personal web page. I suppose only time will tell if the Rudd government will follow through with the promises they made when they were in opposition.
Secondly, the Greenpeace ship Esperanza left the area around about the 26 Jan 2008, the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin left 30 Jan 2008, and whaling was resumed yesterday afternoon (31 Jan 2008). It that just a coincidence? Also, have there been any reports of the Greenpeace ship being followed by any Japanese ships at all? Will Greenpeace be returning to the Southern Ocean to resume the protest? The latest from them is that they won’t be, whereas Steve Irwin and Seas Shepherd Conservation Society will be returning as soon as they have refueled, repaired the ship, and have a new crew.
Thirdly, the time for taking photos has passed. If the reports are true, and the Japanese whaling fleet have indeed killed 5 whales whilst being followed by Oceanic Viking then surely they must have enough evidence to immediately start legal proceedings and prevent the slaughter from going any further. waiting until July when the IWC meet again is not good enough.
Unfortunately the time for doing things through diplomatic channels has long passed. I do not know what should be done next, all I do know is that diplomacy and talking doesn’t work.