Whaling under the Guise of Science, is not Science

June 7, 2018

Antartic Minke Whale. Photo: Public Domain.

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Reading the devastating news of the slaughter of Minke whales in waters of the Antarctic Ocean, fills my heart with pain and sadness.

These terrible actions by the Japanese fishing fleet cannot and should not be tolerated and deserve the strongest denunciation from us all. Little, if any useful information comes from ‘scientific whaling’ and it is quite simply commercial whaling conducted under the guise of science.

122 pregnant whales were slaughtered as well as an equal number of juvenile males. It is a tremendous blow to the struggle we have committed to save all the great baleen whales, including humpbacks and blue whales, from the brink of extinction. The great whales are truly one of the most extraordinary and intelligent animals that have ever inhabited this planet. We need to protect Minke whales and all whales around the world.

Their long journey traverses thousands of miles annually from the frigid and fertile waters of the Antarctic Ocean. There they feed and reproduce then they migrate to their traditional tropical waters close to the equator where they give birth.  It is one of the great wonders of nature.

Millions of people enthusiastically enjoy watching friendly whales of different species and today whale watching supports a multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

My father said: "People protect what they love”.  But it seems that ambition and greed dominate their actions over their heart. But we will not stop in raising the awareness about the importance of protecting all the great whale species, including Minke whales.

We denounce in the strongest way these totally cowardly and meaningless actions, and above all, without any scientific purpose. This is the excuse given by the Japanese authorities to carry out these killings every year.  The truth is publicly known that the whale meat is later sold at great prices in Japan and other places in Asia.

Warm regards,


Jean-Michel Cousteau
President, Ocean Futures Society