WAZA Council votes to suspend Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA)The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Council voted unanimously this week to suspend the membership of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA). The decision comes after WAZA and JAZA could not reach agreement on issues involving JAZA member zoos and aquariums taking dolphins from the Japanese drive fishery.
WAZA requires all members to adhere to policies that prohibit participating in cruel and non-selective methods of taking animals from the wild.
For a number of years, WAZA has attempted to work collaboratively with JAZA and its members to stop the collection of animals from the Taiji drives fisheries. Annually the drives draw international attention and criticism for the killing of dolphins and WAZA has previously joined other organizations in speaking out against the practice.
WAZA made ongoing attempts to negotiate the issues including during a meeting in Tokyo last year when WAZA proposed that JAZA enforce a two-year moratorium on taking animals from the drive by its members. The moratorium was rejected by JAZA. The issue was discussed again at WAZA's international conference in November with a goal to influence change in JAZA's position on members accepting animals from the drive fisheries. JAZA responded by proposing some guideline changes that would put restrictions on the method of capturing dolphins and improving animal care, but because it did not restrict taking animals from the drive, WAZA Council concluded that a satisfactory agreement could not be reached and voted to suspend the Japanese association’s membership.
The basis for the suspension is a determination that JAZA has violated the WAZA Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare. Moreover, WAZA Council re-affirmed its position that members of WAZA must confirm that they will not acquire dolphins from the Taiji fishery.
WAZA’s mission is to serve as the voice of a worldwide community of zoos and aquariums and a catalyst for their joint conservation action. One of the ways WAZA accomplishes this mission is through promoting cooperation between national and regional associations. It is important to note that WAZA still remains committed to continuing discussions with JAZA and its members in an effort to end the loss of animal life through the drive fisheries.
BBC NEWS Dolphins stranded on Japan beach
Meet the World’s 10 Most Endangered Whales
Hunted to near extinction, these giant marine mammals are making a comeback—but they still face threats from marine pollution, ships, and abandoned fishing gear.
Attention‼️ Help Needed, Please!
The Makah tribe want NOAA to allow them to start whaling here in the USA! There is a hearing for this on April 27th! Here is the visual petition photo! All you have to do to help save these Whales is print the photo from the link, get friends, family (kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews too!) and co~workers to have their picture made holding this photo! Then email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Easy and impactful! Submissions will... be printed, put into a binder(s) and then submitted to NOAA at the hearing on April 27th! Deadline for submissions is April 24th. The Whales Thank You! Now, let's have fun with this and save these Whales!
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Government Under Fire Over Trade In Endangered Whale Meat
Japan Says It Just Wants to Count Whales—Not Kill Them—in 2015
The marine mammals' reprieve will be short-lived, as the country plans to resume the hunt in a year.
The bad news: The country plans to resume hunting whales in late 2015 and plans to kill 333 minke whales annually over the next 12 years. And Japan intends to expand the area in which its whaling ships operate to include part of a whale sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission.
The good news is that Japan says it will only count, not kill, whales in the Southern Ocean over the next year.
Opponents argue that the new whaling plan is merely a ploy to get around the International Court of Justice’s ruling in March that Japan’s whaling program is illegal.
“I don't think the International Court of Justice or the people across the world would like to call that progress,” Sid Chakravarty, captain of Sea Shepherd Australia ship Sam Simon, said in an email. “It should more aptly be called a ‘masquerade.’ What they have done instead is to propose an expanded area that now encircles two-thirds of the Antarctic continent.”
Sea Shepherd dispatches a fleet of vessels to confront Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean and interfere with the annual hunt.
“The only reason Japan will be sighting whales this year would be because their illegal operations have been called out by the International Court of Justice,” Chakravarty said. “There should be no doubt, even for a moment, that the killing flotilla will be leaving Japan with their harpoons charged next year. Our reaction to that will be…to prepare the Sea Shepherd fleet to head south in search of the whalers and shut down their operations.”
During the 2014–2015 season, which begins Dec. 1, the Japanese said they would only count minke whales in the Southern Ocean and compile data on their ages, distribution, and foraging patterns.
Sea Shepherd ships will keep an eye on Japan’s minke-whale surveillance to make sure Japanese whalers are not actually killing any of the animals, according to Chakravarty.
He said that because of Sea Shepherd’s intervention, Japan has killed fewer than 333 minke whales annually in the last few years.