Australia Tells Japan to End Whaling or Face Legal Action. Rest of World Rolls Eyes.


Photo via mym via Flickr CC

Australian government has gotten more vocal about taking Japan to court over their whale hunting that they claim is for scientific research - a loophole that allows them to avoid restrictions on whaling. But to those listening, the threats from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sound like more of the same, sparking eye rolls from anti-whaling activists and even from Australia itself, with Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives, saying the empty threats are harming Australia's reputation.The Australian reports that when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was asked whether he would set a deadline for action, a spokesman for Mr. Rudd said that the government had logged at least 25 diplomatic contacts on the issue. "Our patience is not endless."

In other words, nope.

Ecorazzi points out that this puffing up on behalf of Australian officials is old news, with Rudd has repeatedly vowing to take action since 2007. It's great to hear that he is getting louder about it, but he states, "But I have said very clearly, if we don't find a way through there is one way to sort this out and that is through the appropriate international legal mechanisms." Anyone who follows whaling issues knows that that likely means going through the International Whaling Commission, which has little to no teeth for making anything happen.

Meanwhile we have the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace performing more extreme actions which have the wow-factor, but aren't necessarily making big changes. Rather, it's turning a lot of people off to the whole Save the Whales effort.

WATCH VIDEO: Tools and Tactics of Whale Wars

What middle ground might we find that will benefit the whales? Actual legal action and strong moves on the part of anti-whaling countries is needed, but doesn't seem anywhere in sight.

One of the most effective actions we've seen thus far comes from the people who created The Cove, a documentary on the dolphin killings at Taiji. The efforts and risk that went in to making the documentary and the equally important efforts that went in to getting the documentary shown all over the world - including Japan - went far in temporarily stopping and significantly slowing this year's hunt.

It seems we need more of that all over the whaling industry. And not just political chest pounding.

More on Whaling
Fate of Whaling Ban Hangs in the Balance as Pro and Anti-Whaling Countries Face Off
Pitch of Blue Whale Songs Is Declining Around the World, But This Could be a Good Thing
Whaling 'Peace Talks' Stalled, Japan Won't Cut Its Hunt Quotas Deep Enough

Tags: Australia | Conservation | Japan | Whales