Fight for Fifty

31 Oct 2007 0 Share

Maroochy Mayor Joe Natoli, Australia Zoo’s Kylie Humberstone, Mark Pico and Shelley Emia.

Maroochy Mayor Joe Natoli, Australia Zoo’s Kylie Humberstone, Mark Pico and Shelley Emia.

As the Humpback population begin their annual migration south to the Great Southern Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica, another migration is also beginning its journey!

For the first time in decades the Japanese Government has confirmed marine biologists, environmentalists and Whale lover’s worldwide worst fears! The Japanese Whaling Fleet is now moving its focus towards the ‘Humpback’.

The Japanese Whalers are planning to slaughter 50 humpback whales in addition to the 1,000 plus Minke, Brydes, Sei, Sperm and Pilot whales they kill each year in the name of scientific research.
“Sadly, when our gentle and magnificent humpback whale departs our shores this year, it will be time to say goodbye to some of these whales forever. This summer, for the first time in four decades, Japanese harpoons will be waiting for our humpback whales when they reach their feeding grounds in the Antarctic Ocean’, adopting a whale provides the community with an opportunity to add its voice in opposition of this inhumane, unlawful and unnecessary hunt, and to demand that the Australian Government takes firm action to save our whales and to secure the future of their adopted ‘whale icon’, said Lydia Gibson Project Coordinator for the Humpback Icon Project, IFAW.
As consistently reported much of the season’s catch manages to find its way onto the dinner tables of some of Japans fine dining establishments and has also fuelled the fire of debate over what actual scientific role this mass culling plays.

“I have actually spent a significant amount of time in Japan and found first hand that the Japanese people do not like or eat whale meat, the whalers have actually employed the services of PR agents and spin doctors to try and find a market in order to offload and justify the actions of the fleet each year”, said Mark Pico who is the IFAW Sunshine Coast Representative.

The Australian people feel very strong about this iconic creature of the deep and so far 48 councils along the eastern seaboard have adopted a humpback whale as part of the ‘Fight For Fifty’ campaign conducted by IFAW (International Federation Against Whaling) and monitor its progress seasonally as they travel the depths of the world’s oceans.

The aim of the ‘Fight For Fifty’ day to be held at Coolum Beach on November the 3rd at 11.30am is to demonstrate to the Australian Government individual community’s opposition to Japan’s plans to kill 50of our Humpback whales. Ultimately it is to ask that the Australian Government demand the Government of Japan drop its to kill 50 Humpbacks this year and in all future years of the planned ‘JARPA II’ program of ‘scientific whaling’.

ASP President Wayne Bartholomew, ASP Surfer Ryan Campbell and Pico.

ASP President Wayne Bartholomew, ASP Surfer Ryan Campbell and Pico.

The ‘Fight For Fifty’ day is timed to coincide with the Japanese whaling fleet’s departure from port in Japan.

Australia Zoo who carry out Whale Watching operations each season have backed the campaign which threatens to impact the Nation’s $300 million a year whale watching industry. “The Zoo feels very strongly about this indeed and we are planning to make the day quite a fun one but also assist in driving home the message that we won’t stand for this type of activity against whales or any other creature, it’s about educating too”, said Kylie Humberstone Domestic Sales & Marketing Coordinator Australia Zoo.

“On the day we will be having members of the Australia Zoo Crew and Steve’s Whale One Crew attending, kids games and give-aways, colouring in competitions with the chance to win family passes to Australia Zoo. Along with ‘Squirt the Whale’ from Australia Zoo’s Conservation Crew and a Guest Speaker from the Crew at Steve’s Whale One, said Kylie.

Maroochy Mayor Joe Natoli who attended the National Day of Action in 2006 held on Noosa Main Beach will make a welcome return to Coolum Beach on November 3.

“It was great to have Joe drive up to Noosa last year and we are very pleased he is coming along to Coolum. Plenty of people say they support the cause but Joe truly is passionate about what is going on and proves it by putting himself forward”, said Pico.

Joining the list of speakers will be ASP International’s President and Former Professional World Surfing Champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew. The renowned surfer proved a very popular speaker in 2006 and will be joined by fellow surfing and media personality John Charlton who is the National Surf Reporter for CW (coastalwatch.com).

“Coastalwatch has a strong involvement with all things oceanic, we live and breathe it, so it is part of our responsibility to be a voice on behalf of our surfing community and let our combined voices be heard by the powers that be”, said Charlton.

So, if this is something that touches you and concerns you, then come join the many who will take on the ‘Fight For Fifty’ this November the 3rd at Coolum Beach (Tickle Park) at 11.30am.

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