From Pierce Brosnan
Dear IFAW Supporter,
I am urgently trying to reach as many concerned people as I can to seek your help in the campaign to save the great whales. Over the past several weeks, government officials in two countries have announced plans to hunt endangered whales and reopen the banned trade in whale meat.
I need your help to stop this madness before it's too late. Please forward this message to as many friends and contacts as you can. Then go to www.ifaw.org/actionforwhales to learn what else you can do to help.
Three decades ago, horrific images of industrial whaling operations first inspired a global movement to protect these magnificent creatures. Men and women of conscience across the planet joined together to end this cruel and outmoded practice and rescue threatened whale species from the brink of extinction. This global grass-roots effort achieved an important victory when, in 1986, a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling came into effect.
Since that time, millions of people around the world -- from schoolchildren to senior citizens -- have come to learn more about our neighbors from the deep. We've learned that whales are intelligent animals with close-knit family groups, that many are highly migratory, regularly traversing the depth and breadth of our ocean planet, that whales are social creatures, communicating across great distances with unique songs, clicks and calls, and that new threats such as pollution, ship strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, acoustic disturbance and loss of vital ocean habitat threaten their very survival.
Incredibly, at the dawn of the 21st century, government bureaucrats in two countries, Japan and Norway, want to return to full-scale commercial whaling. They are finalizing plans to kill more than 1,200 whales this year. Norway, which has long objected to the IWC moratorium, will kill more than 600 minke whales in the North Atlantic. Japan, which uses a scientific loophole to claim its whaling is for scientific research, will this year kill hundreds of endangered Pacific minke, sei, Bryde's and sperm whales. Once they are butchered and boxed up for shipment, these whales will make their way to market where choice cuts will be sold as delicacies.
How can you help? Go to http://www.ifaw.org/actionforwhales
Unfortunately a minority of government officials in Japan tries to cast the whaling issue in nationalist terms, claiming that those who would protect the whales are somehow "anti-Japan." These pro-whaling bureaucrats are clearly out of step with the majority of the Japanese people. Polls in Japan show support for whaling is dwindling among the mainstream public. Whaling is vocally opposed by leading Japanese environmental groups, and scientists have issued repeated warnings that whale meat is contaminated with high levels of marine pollutants and unsafe for human consumption. Much of Japan's whale hunting is conducted around Antarctica in the waters of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. Japan, the lone nation to vote against this internationally recognized sanctuary when it was established, will this year again sail its whaling ships into the sanctuary and kill hundreds of protected whales. Meanwhile, back in Tokyo, Fisheries Agency bureaucrats are working diligently to revive the international trade in whale meat. Just last month, they announced Japan would defy an 11-year-old global ban and begin importing whale meat -- 100 tons of it per year -- from . . . you guessed it: Norway.
It is time for our generation to do its part. These audacious moves by Japanese and Norwegian bureaucrats threaten more than thirty years of hard won protections for whales. They must be stopped.
Here's what you can do: Go to http://www.ifaw.org/actionforwhales
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), one of the leading global conservation groups fighting to protect marine mammals and their habitats, has established this website to help people like you and me take immediate action to save the whales and learn more about what we all can do to help. I have worked very closely with IFAW for the past several years. Together we have spoken out and achieved important victories for whales around the world. And I am proud to join IFAW once again in this critical effort to protect these majestic creatures.
The Governments of Japan and Norway need to hear our voices now. It's time to save the whales again! Please help protect these endangered animals for future generations.
Thank you for your kind attention and support. If we all stand together we can turn the tide.