Ocean Lover Takes A Stand for Whales at IWC

While the delegates of the International Whaling Commission fought over the fate of whales ocean advocates stood tall in Panama as their voice. Today science has proven that cetaceans are sentient self-aware beings with intelligence equal to mans. Sadly, many members of the IWC use whaling as a bargaining chip to further their own agenda. The United States bundled their vote with Japan and the Soviet Union to protect the Bow head whale hunt, even going so far as to support the whaling in Greenland where whale meat is sold commercially to tourists while whaling under the guise of subsistence. IWC aboriginal whaling quotas were renewed for the U.S., Russia and the notorious St. Vincent and Grenadines known for their slaughter of humpback whale mothers and their babies. Greenland on the other hand was exposed for its blatant commercial use of whale meat losing any quota for whaling. Korea shocked the world as they made a bid to create a “scientific whaling program” which for Japan has been no more than a cover up for commercial whaling activities. Disappointingly the Southern Atlantic Whale Sanctuary proposed by Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Uruguay lost the vote not reaching the 3/4 majority.

Maria Cristina Cely and Lori Neumann Whale Sanctuary fails to pass.

Ocean activist Maria Christina Cely spoke moving words upon finding out the whales of the Southern Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would not be safe from the deadly harpoons of the whalers, “Tough times for those who were present outside the Panama Hotel in the very moment which made known the result of vote for the creation of the Whale Sanctuary South Atlantic. Disappointment, anger and helplessness …. everything in tears”. For a brief moment my spirit faltered once again I was ashamed of the species to which I belong (Maria Christina Cely July 2, 2012).

Maria Cristina Cely taking a moment.

In an interview Maria Christina Cely ocean activist and Sea Shepherd  volunteer/supporter gave us some insight in what it was like to be at the IWC a voice for whales.

Champions: What inspired you to go to the IWC Meeting in Panama?

Maria Cristina Cely: Well, the beginning of the whale’s ordeal takes place at the IWC and I think that is the place to start showing your support to them and condemning the whaler’s decisions. I also believe that they (whalers) need to know the world is watching and that we won’t let them walk away without giving them a piece of our mind. But the most important reason was the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, the Latin-american countries known as “Grupo de Buenos Aires” were going to fight again for the whales, they stood up and spoke up for the whales and did not sell their votes so I wanted to show them support and respect and let them know that WE were/are proud of them.


Champions: What was the atmosphere like at the meeting?

Maria Cristina Cely: Intense, very intense. You had us out there cheering and calling for the Sanctuary, then you had the delegates from the “Japan group” and the delegates from the pro-whales group and on top of that you had the NGOs. You can cut the tension in the air with a knife, that is for sure. The atmosphere changed after the first day when the Sanctuary proposal lost by a vote, then you could feel the disappointment and the anger but also frustration from the pro-whales parties. The things fired up a little when we rallied Panamanian students and gathered outside the Panama Hotel, the “Honk for the Whales” was a success and we even had some delegates and NGOs come out and cheer with us.

Ocean Activists at IWC Meeting Panama Raise your hands for whales!

Champions: What was it like to be present at this meeting?

Maria Cristina Cely: The IWC brings out every emotion in you. It is a roller coaster, you go from having all this energy and positive thoughts to frustration and disappointment. You want to break into the meeting and tell them how wrong they are and how stupid their killing proposals are, and you look at the delegates and feel rage because you realize this few people decide on the lives of thousands of whales, they profit from them and from their dead and that hits you so hard! It was quite an experience that I will do it again as many times as possible. You have to fight for the whales, the dolphins and the porpoises whether it is in Taiji, in the Antarctic waters, in the Faroes or at the IWC, every fight counts for the final battle, everything counts.

Howie Cooke, Natalie Fox, Nori Neumann, and Maria Cristina Cely Just say no to whaling!

Champions: What did you come away with?

Maria Cristina Cely: We as society need to be more present at the IWC even if it means not being present at the meetings. We need to push more pro-whale countries to take part, because every vote counts. But also we need to push the pro-whale countries to become more involved in working to recuperate the votes of the countries that today voted for Japan.
So I hope I will see you guys there the next time.

Whale Words by Maria Cristina Cely

Together we can make a difference so get involved!

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Surfers for Cetaceans 

Blue Voice

Save Japan Dolphins

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Japanese Research Whaling One Big IWC Loophole

Swim Fast* Swim Far* Swim Deep

Ocean conservations are hearing a call to action as Japanese research whaling vessels led by the Nisshan Maru, head to the North Pacific on a commercial whale hunt. The Japanese government claims they are on a mission of research, “…study their stomach contents, DNA and other information, according to the Institute of Cetacean Research “http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/japan-launches-pacific-research-whaling/story-e6frf7jo-1226073492230 . This is their 18th trip to the North Pacific Ocean, where they will indiscriminately kill one of the planets oldest, and most amazing mammals, whales. With the advent of, “Whale Wars” the entire world was able to watch the sadness and horror as the Japanese whalers slaughtered sentient beings and then packaged the meat for the supermarket. “Whale Wars” also showed the world that we do not have to back down to the Japanese Government. We do not have to stand by and watch these incredibly huge and beautiful creatures suffer at the hands of the dishonorable, Japanese whalers.

Kinoya's canned whale meat, version 2

Whale Meat In A Can

During the 20th century the Japanese whalers were known to be unstoppable driving many species to the point of extinction. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission was formed and a moratorium was placed on whaling. Since that time the Japanese government has sent out whaling vessels under the auspice of research, a loop hole in the moratorium.

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami hit Japan causing devastation, and death beyond the worlds imagination. Pictures and video showing a wall of water descent upon the Otsuchi devastating everything, and everyone, in it’s path. Japan cried out for help, and the world responded with compassion, aid, and assistance.

Minke Whale Dragged By Fin Live to Pier for Slaughter

Sadly the compassion shown by the world to Japan would not be shown to whales and dolphins in 2011. The Cove Guardians, and Save Japan Dolphins would witness a brutal and tedious slaughter of 80 pilot whales on May 4-6th. On April 26th the research vessel left the ports of Kushiro and Hokkaido with a permit to harvest 60 minke whales. Today the Japanese head to the North Pacific with plans to kill 260 whales, 100 of which are minkes. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/japan-launches-pacific-research-whaling/story-e6frf7jo-1226073492230

On the advent of the upcoming IWC meeting taking place July 11-14 in the UK channel islands, ocean conservationists wonder if we will ever see an end to whaling. After last years precarious bid to remove the moratorium, “The idea to uplift the ban on commercial whaling and allow some controlled commercial whaling was wiped off the table. Of course, that is a good thing; it would be a ridiculous step back to allow commercial whaling and I assume that every normal human would see this as common sense.”(Laurens De Groot , June 23, 2010 http://www.seashepherd.org/whales/iwc-blog/).

To understand the loophole we need to start when the moratorium began, “the International Whaling Commission (IWC) finally voted in favor of a moratorium on commercial whaling to go into force in 1986 (25-7-5). Japan objected to the moratorium and continued whaling (Under the ICRW an objecting nation is exempted from the disputed regulations. Japan also continued to hunt sperm whales despite a 1981 IWC zero catch quota.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_Japan#Research_whaling

The Gray Whale Another Sushi Favorite On The Extinction List

Clearly Japan has continued to whale commerically since   the moratorium began in 1986. That the Japanese whaler hunters have been allowed to decimate whale population even today in 2011 is unacceptable.  That Japan is knowingly buying the votes of other countries is unacceptable. The only group that has made  headway in stopping the Japanese fleet is the SSCS. The International Whaling Commision needs  a new attitude, and a name change. Instead of managing numbers they need to get on board and start saving our oceans by saving our whales.

Please urge president Obama, to support the restructuring of the IWC. Now is the time if ever to join our voices and let those in power know it is time to stop killing whales. Aboriginal sustenance, research whaling, it is all and excuse to keep clear cutting our oceans of marine life that is needed for our planets survival.

Follow the Link Below to sign the petition:



Contact the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC and urge them to stop killing dolphins and whales.  Be polite, and urge them to protect Japanese consumers from mercury poisoning from eating dangerous whale and dolphin meat.

Ambassador Ichiro FUJISAKI

2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20008

Phone:  202-238-6700

Fax: 202-328-2187

Japan Information and Culture Center

E-mail: jicc@ws.mofa.go.jp

Email the Prime Minister of Japan Nato Kan. Let him know you will not support Japan if they won’t stop murdering cetaceans. By Law the Japanese government must respond to all emails. This is a direct link to his comment page.

Make Today A Day for the whales. Please Call and Write Now. They need us!