Australians outraged at Japan using Tsunami relief funds for whaling
Byron locals and Australians generally are outraged that Japan used 28 million dollars from the Tsunami relief funds to go towards supporting the whaling fleet currently on its way to the antarctic to kill 900 whales. Byron whale activist Dean Jefferys who was involved in 2 local fundraisers that raised over $20000 for the tsunami relief fund said “I am outraged that money we raised in good faith to help the Japanese people recover from the devistating effects of the Tsunami would be used to help kill whales. I believe the people in the Tsunami effected areas would also be outraged that relief funds are being directed to supporting a dieing industry that the global community condemns instead of funding there recovery. This is a double betrayal to all those who gave money or time to the fund and to the Japanese people in need and I believe is the straw on the camels back that will be the down fall of corrupt elements the government controlled by the Japan Fisheries Agency and also the whaling industry.
The Japan Fisheries Agency says the trip’s use of $28 million from the earthquake recovery fund is legitimate, because one of the towns devastated by the March earthquake and tsunami was a whaling port.
To discuss this and other critical marine issues, whale activists, Howie Cooke, Madi Pip and Dean Jefferys will come together this week in Mullumimby and Byron to share stories, videos, information and music to support and celebrate the wonders of the ocean and its creatures. Highlights of the recent inspiring Byron presentation by the founder of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, will also be screened.
Howie Cooke, recently returned from Transparent Seavoyage 2, down the coast of California with the Surfers for Cetaceans crew and will show photos and videos from the trip. The S4C crew sailed 5 double seater Hobie sailing kayak from the Gaviota coast north of Santa Barbara through to Mission Bay, San Diego meeting with coastal communities, hearing about local marine issues which were highlighted at events held in all four counties. Howie painted many whale murals on route and video clips show encounters with sea lions, dolphins and on one occasion, two Blue Whales. See http://transparentseavoyage.com. Howie will also show some clips and share some stories from his earlier trip to the Antarctic with Sea Shepherd. Madi Pip will show some of her amazing footage swimming with tiger sharks and talk about the urgent action that is needed to protect sharks in Australia and worldwide. Dean Jefferys will show some footage of his sailing adventures in Migaloo 2 including the last two months in Hervey Bay with the whales and talk about his “2012 and Beyond” vision, sailing a fleet of boats along the east coast of OZ with the whales. Sea Shepherd stall will be there providing presents that help conserve and not cost the earth. Kevin James and Howie Cooke will sing some whale inspired songs.
The events will be held at Byron Community Center Wednesday, 14th Dec at 5-30 pm and in Mullumbimby out the back of Santos, Thursday 15th Dec 7-30. $10 entry
The Wednesday night event will be live streamed free on the internet at 5-30 pm on http://migaloo2.com/
reference see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-07/japan-whaling-fleet-embarks/3716546