Japan Gives Whales a Break!

In an update today, Japan announced that its initial suspension of whaling activity has been extended to the entire season's "research" whale hunt in the Antarctic, due to "persistent harassment" from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. 

Whale hunting has been illegal since 1986, but Japan has continued its whaling via a loophole in the international ban that permits it for research purposes.  For the last several winters, Sea Shepherd, buoyed by a $5 million donation from Bob Barker and a repurposed former whaling ship that bore his name, has pursued the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

Sea Shepherd was founded by Paul Watson, a former Greenpeace staffer who believed it wasn't aggressive enough in stopping illegal whale hunts.

Japan has not said if it will resume the hunt next year, but activists are hoping this could be the beginning of the end of whale hunting.