27 December 2007
Barrett welcomes news that humpback whale hunt is called off
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today welcomed news that humpback whales, including his own adopted whale named ‘Auntie’ have received a temporary reprieve as the government of Japan has removed 50 humpbacks from this year’s whale hunt.
Today’s announcement follows months of public and diplomatic pressure on Japan, which launched its whaling fleet on November 18. However, Mr Barrett has expressed concern that Japan is pressing ahead with plans to take almost 1,000 other whales over the next three months.
“While I am very pleased to hear that my adopted whale is safe for the time being, we must not forget that Japan is still targeting many other whales, including endangered species. We must keep up the diplomatic pressure for an end to this cruel practice.”
Since the 1986 ban, Japan has killed more than 10,000 whales, claiming its whaling is conducted for scientific research purposes. Little science has been produced, while the meat from these whales is put on sale in supermarkets and restaurants.
Humpback whales are listed as “vulnerable” after the species was driven to near extinction by commercial whaling in the last century.