Just when we thought that the great whales were safe from the exploding harpoons and long knives of Japanese 'research' ships, death stalks them on the high seas once more. This time it is in the Pacific not the Southern Ocean where many will die a gruesome and violent death. The Japanese whaling fleet cut its 2010-2011 season short in February after slaughtering 172 whales, 20% of their normal kill. This was mainly due to the continuing efforts of Paul Watson and the members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; intrepid sailors who risk their lives to harass the whalers. It was a short-lived victory. Last week, Japan announced that it has sent out its whaling fleet to the northwest Pacific to kill another 260 whales for 'scientific research' purposes.
As this blog has noted many times before, this mindless slaughter will continue unabated in the face of worldwide condemnation; not because there is a commercial use for whale meat or any scientific value in butchering whales; there is none for either. It is because the conflict has devolved into what the Japanese government sees as an imperialistic assault upon their culture. And until the good and decent people of Japan demand that their government put an end to this barbaric practice, no amount of pleading, cajoling, or threatening by foreigners will stop the killing. And so it is that the seas will once again run red with the blood of these magnificent, sentient, and intelligent beings.