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Marine Life & Conservation

Japanese Prime Minister tells Parliament he will “boost efforts” to restart commercial whaling

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Japan’s Prime Minister has told parliament he will boost efforts towards restarting commercial whaling, despite a UN court order that Tokyo must halt killing whales in the Antarctic.

Shinzo Abe’s comments on Monday were likely to cause dismay for those who had hoped the ruling by the international court of justice (ICJ) would herald the beginning of the end of the whale hunt.

“I want to aim for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources,” he told a parliamentary commission.

“To that end, I will step up efforts further to get understanding from the international community.”

Abe said that in contrast to the foreign perception that whaling communities mercilessly exploit the marine mammals, whaling towns show respect to the animals, with religious services at the end of every hunting season. “It is regrettable that this part of Japanese culture is not understood,” he said.

Japan has continued to hunt whales by exploiting a loophole in a 1986 global moratorium that allows lethal research on the mammals. But the country has made no secret of the fact that the meat ends up in restaurants and at fish markets.

The annual hunt in the Southern Ocean has proved particularly contentious, with sometimes violent confrontations between whalers and protesters.

Australia, backed by New Zealand, took Japan before the ICJ in 2010 in an attempt to stop the yearly hunt. The court said the hunt was a commercial venture masquerading as research.

Tokyo called off its 2014-15 Antarctic season, and said it would redesign the mission in an effort to make it more scientific.

A separate hunt in the north-west Pacific continues, as do hunts in coastal waters, which are not covered by the moratorium.

Since the ICJ ruling, Japanese e-commerce marketplace Rakuten has told online retailers they cannot sell whale and dolphin meat through its site.

But dealing in whale meat “does not violate international or domestic laws in any way”, said the Japanese fisheries minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi.

Hayashi told the same parliamentary committee that Rakuten had made a commercial decision as a private firm and that the increasing number of companies refusing to sell whale meat was “regrettable”.

Inviting people to dine on whale in his ministry, he said a “whale week” campaign, which began on Monday, was part of efforts to let Japanese people know that whaling and eating whale meat are part of their culture.

At the opening event, Hayashi ate whale meat steak with other MPs who support whaling, before moving to a cafeteria in the farm ministry building, where he had a lunch set of whale meat tataki, a dish similar to carpaccio, seasoned with shredded green onions.

During the campaign week, visitors will be given a chance to taste a small portion of fried whale meat for free, according to the ministry.

Japan’s consumption of whale meat has diminished greatly in recent decades and it is no longer a regular part of most people’s diet. But powerful lobbying forces have ensured the continued subsidisation of the hunt with taxpayer money.

Tokyo has always maintained it was trying to prove whale populations were big enough to sustain commercial hunts.

 

Source: www.islandsbusiness.com

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos

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Shark Guardian has just unveiled their largest and most exciting expedition yet: a seven-night, eight-day adventure in August 2026 aboard the Galaxy Diver II, a state-of-the-art
vessel specifically designed for divers exploring the enchanting waters of the Galapagos
Islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage deeply with marine
conservation in one of the world’s most revered diving destinations.

Shark Guardian is a UK registered charity dedicated to protecting sharks and marine
ecosystems worldwide. Founded by marine biologists and conservationists, Brendon
Sing and Liz Ward-Sing, Shark Guardian leads educational programs, research projects,
campaigns and expeditions aimed at fostering a better understanding and respect for
marine life. Their work spans several continents and focuses on direct action,
education, and advocacy.

Shark Guardian’s ethos revolves around the concept of “diving with a purpose.” This
philosophy underscores the importance of not just experiencing the wonders of the
underwater world but actively learning and contributing to its preservation. Participants
in Shark Guardian expeditions engage in citizen science projects, which involve
collecting data that supports ongoing research and conservation efforts. These
activities empower divers to make a tangible difference, turning each dive into an act of
conservation.

One of the newer additions to the Galapagos diving scene, the Galaxy Diver II, is
specifically tailored for divers. Its design prioritises comfort, safety, and environmental
responsibility. The vessel boasts modern amenities, spacious dive decks, and the latest
navigational technology, ensuring that every dive is not only memorable but also has
minimal environmental impact.

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to dive at Wolf and Darwin islands,
renowned for their vibrant, untouched marine ecosystems and as a haven for large
pelagic species. These islands are famous for their schools of hammerhead sharks,
whale sharks, and manta rays, offering spectacular diving that attracts enthusiasts from
around the globe.

Shark Guardian have developed this trip to ensure a hassle-free experience. The
expedition package also includes internal flights from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galapagos,
plus accommodation in Quito before and after the trip. This allows divers to relax and
enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics.

Participants will join a diverse group of passionate divers and conservationists. This trip
offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are eager to
learn about and contribute to marine conservation. It’s a chance to share experiences,
knowledge, and a commitment to protecting the marine world.

sharks

Shark Guardian is offering an early bird price available until May 31st 2024. This special
rate provides a fantastic opportunity to secure a spot on this exclusive expedition at a
reduced cost. Availability is limited, so interested divers are encouraged to act quickly
to ensure they don’t miss out. All the details can be found on their WeTravel page, where
bookings can be made easily and payment instalments are available.

Expedition Galapagos, aboard the Galaxy Diver II offers more than just a diving
holiday—it is an investment in both personal and planetary well-being. By participating,
divers not only witness the majesty of one of the world’s premier diving locales but also
contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Find out more about Shark Guardian at www.sharkguardian.org.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust Launches New Podcast

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shark trust

The Shark Trust has launched their new podcast. Delve behind the scenes and gain exclusive insights in the world of shark and ray conservation on The Shark Trust Podcast. Out Now!

Join the Shark Trust on this journey as they explore the diverse world of sharks. Hear from experts from different backgrounds and learn how you can become a part of the global effort to protect these vital species.

Whether you’re a seasoned shark expert or just dipping your toes beneath the surface, this podcast offers something for everyone!

shark trust

In the first series you will hear from the Shark Trust team. Shark Trust Patrons, Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Simon Rogerson. Divers with a passion for sharks. And some of the Oceanic 31 artists.

New episodes released every two weeks on all major podcast platforms and watch full video versions on the Shark Trust YouTube Channel. Keep your eyes peeled for the bonus minisodes!

There are two available to dive into right now!

Episode 1: Dive beneath the waves of shark and ray conservation with Mark as he speaks with Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust. Paul and Mark discuss the threats and difficulties that sharks and rays currently face in the modern world. And how the Shark Trust is working to create a better future for them!

Bonus Minisode: Join Mark at Go Diving, the UK’s biggest dive show. He interviews Shark Trust Patron, Simon Rogerson, about his diving experiences and how seeing sharks can transform your life!

For more information about the work of the Shark Trust, visit their website here.

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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