Below is a statement from Monica Medina, director of whale conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts' Environment Group, on Japan's announcement that it will forego plans to kill 50 humpback whales.
“We are encouraged that Japan has decided to not kill endangered humpback whales as previously planned. However, we hope this is just a first step. Despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling, the world's whales face many threats to their survival, including climate change, ship strikes and Japan's active whaling program.
“The Bush Administration deserves credit for encouraging Japan to forego its plans to kill humpback whales, which had drawn international consternation.”
“Next month Pew is hosting a symposium in Tokyo to address an ongoing impasse at the International Whaling Commission that has resulted in more whales being killed last year (more than 2,000) than in any year since the whaling moratorium entered into force in 1986. Today's announcement bodes well for the conservation of whales in the 21st Century.”
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.