Speech by Jean Lambert MEP, at the Anti-Whaling Protest, Japanese Embassy, London, Friday 15 January, 2010.
The Green Party is proud to be here at this protest against Japan’s continuing slaughter of whales and their ramming of the Sea Shepherd’s vessel Ady Gil.
The Green Party supports non-violent direct action: action that is taken in full conscience and fully aware of the consequences, with no intention of causing harm. Such action should not be met by violence: the Japanese whalers had a choice and chose violence, putting protestors lives at risk.
The Green Party’s view on whaling is clear. We see it as premeditated, deliberate and an unnecessary cause of animal suffering, endangering the survival of some species right now – as we have just heard.
Last year, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding an end to commercial whaling. It is illegal in EU waters. If Iceland and Norway continue commercial whaling, that would be a barrier to any membership of the EU if they wanted to join.
The European Parliament also called for the end of so-called lethal scientific research, as carried out by Japan. No-one can really believe that the arbitrary slaughter carried out really contributes anything to science, but it does contribute to the economy: it is commercial whaling under a label that lies.
I want to see clear leadership from the new Commission against commercial and pseudo-scientific whaling.
Our seas are at risk from climate change: we don’t know how it will affect the whale population but we do know that their food supply is already diminishing due to overfishing and our changing climate. Our biodiversity is under stress.
All countries must show responsibility and take action. A modern democracy, such as Japan, should think again about its policy on whaling. We call here today on the Japanese Government to stop the barbarity and stop the whaling.