May 26, 2017 05:25 AM EDT
Australia's Information Commissioner is now certain that the government should release the "controversial footage" of Japanese whaling. Sea Shepherd, a non-profit organization that protects whales, announced that it won the battle for transparency.
As part of Australia's whaling suit against Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last 2008, the vessel Oceanic Viking filmed Japan's whaling fleet "chasing, harpooning, and killing" whales inside the Australian whale sanctuary off the Antarctic. On March 31, 2014, ICJ ruled that Japan's whaling program was never for scientific research. Thus, the release of the video evidence will reveal Japan's true colors to every Australian and to the whole world.
According to Sea Shepherd, Australians really have the right to see the 2008 "public tax funded" whaling footage. The Environmental Defenders Office NSW, Sea Shepherd, and the Humane Society International first sought access to the footage in March 2012. Over the past five years, the Australian government declined their request.
Apparently, Australian authorities believed that the release of the footage would harm their relations with Japan, despite condemning Japan's whaling program in the ICJ. The Information Commissioner, on the other hand, has found that such an argument "cannot be sustained" and "ordered the release" of the video. The Australian government has 28 days to appeal the decision before the footage will be officially publicized.
Per Maritime-Executive, Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director Jeff Hansen said that survey shows that more Australians want and end to whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary. However, the government has been granting the wishes of Japan and not of its own people. Sea Shepherd is known to be the primary "contender" of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic.
As a matter of fact, of their vessels, the Ady Gil, collided with Japan's MV Shōnan Maru 2 last January 6, 2010. The incident resulted in the loss of the Ady Gil and the injury of one of its crew members. The Japanese crew initially said that the Sea Shepherd vessel rammed into them, but video evidence proves otherwise.
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