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Help stop Japans secret dolphin slaughter!

This year, Japan, Norway and Iceland will kill around 2,000 great whales between them in the biggest whale slaughter since commercial whaling was banned by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) 23 years ago.

However, the defiant whaling nations did not receive a single word of criticism or condemnation at this year’s annual meeting of the IWC, held in Madeira last May.  This is because that meeting was dominated by a US led attempt to strike a compromise deal with Japan -  a deal which threatens to legitimize the cruel killing of whales and shatter the whaling ban, heralding a return to the dark days of mass whale slaughter for profit. 

However, while these sleazy negotiations over a return to commercial whaling continue, the mass slaughter of tens of thousands of smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises every year has continued largely unnoticed, unreported and unabated. But all this is about to change.

Japan’s dolphin tragedy

Every year, over 20,000 smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises are cruelly slaughtered in Japanese waters. The meat is sold for human consumption, even though it is tainted with toxic industrial pollutants such as mercury, DDTs and PCBs, all known to be hazardous to human health. Those that have witnessed these hunts first hand, or watched our secretly filmed footage, will never forget the appalling brutality and suffering inflicted upon these beautiful, intelligent creatures.

Campaign Whale is the sole UK representative of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition

The coalition is fighting to end the slaughter of dolphins and porpoises in Japan. Within our ranks is Ric O’Barry, former trainer of ‘Flipper’ the dolphin (a hugely popular sixties TV series and later Hollywood film). In reality, Flipper was not one, but five animals that all died during the run of the show – a sad reality for these intelligent animals when held in captivity.  Ric O’Barry is now working with us, determined to stop the slaughter in Taiji and other Japanese coastal villages, as well as highlight the shocking link between the dolphin hunts and the captive industry for dolphins around the world.


Watch out for ‘The Cove’

Now at last the appalling truth of Japan’s secret dolphin slaughter may be coming to a cinema near you. The slaughter of dolphins has been captured by hidden cameras in a feature length drama-documentary called ‘The Cove’ that has received standing ovations at the Sundance and other film festivals this year.  

The film, due to be released in the UK this October,  focuses on Taiji, a Japanese coastal town where around 2,300 dolphins are speared to death every year for their meat. Each dead dolphin sells for about US $600, but those few captured alive are worth as much as US $200,000 when sold to aquariums and dolphin ‘swim’ parks around the world.

The dolphin slaughter in Taiji takes place between September and March in a heavily-guarded coastal inlet.  Taiji has become the epicentre of our campaign, and an undercover team secretly filmed the hunts using cameras disguised as rocks, to expose an ongoing tragedy that is covered up by the local authorities and the Japanese government.

What they filmed was truly horrific. After driving the dolphins into the cove by hammering on metal poles, the fishermen repeatedly stab the helpless animals until the water turns blood red. Some of the dolphins, traumatised by witnessing the horrific slaughter of their pod members, are captured alive to be sold to aquaria and ‘swim with dolphins’ programmes around the world.

The Japanese government tell the fishermen that dolphins are “pests” that eat too many fish, but the real reason for fishery declines is human over-fishing, climate change and pollution.

A deadly diet

‘The Cove’ also focuses on a major element of our campaign within Japan: to expose the serious health threat posed to the people that eat the dolphin and porpoise meat, many unwittingly as it is often deliberately mislabeled as whale meat. Sadly, dolphins and porpoises carry a massive level of toxic contaminants, such as mercury and PCBs, that build up in their bodies through the food chain. Taiji Town Councillors that bravely warned of the threat of mercury poisoning from eating dolphin meat have now been ostracised in a community they have lived in all their lives, but at least the publicity has forced local schools to stop serving dolphin meat in school lunches.  Meanwhile, elsewhere in Japan that problem, hopefully soon to be exposed as a national scandal, continues.

Media Coverage

Please click here to watch Campaign Whale Director Andy Ottaway talk about the Japanese dolphin slaughter on Sky News.

We have also secured coverage in 'The Daily Mail' and 'The Sun'

Take Action

Please help us save the forgotten whales, before it is too late!

1) Join our pod

By joining our pod, you are helping ensure that our vital work for whales and dolphins can continue. As a member, you will receive our exclusive colour newsletter 'Spouting Off' to keep you up-to-date with all our campaigns and a special membership badge.
Single Membership costs just £20 per year, Joint Membership is £25, and Family Membership is £30. If you can, please join by monthly or annual standing order as this cuts costs, prevents the need for reminder letters and frees more funds for our vital campaigns. A monthly standing order of £4 a month is only £1 a week, that’s less than a large bar of chocolate!

Please click here to download a membership form

2) Make a donation

Every pound you can spare really counts and will help us to protect these wonderful animals. 

Please click here to donate online

Donate by cheque: Please make payable to ‘Campaign Whale’ and send to Campaign Whale, PO Box 2673, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5BZ, UK.

3) Sign our petition

Please click here to sign our ‘Save Japan Dolphins’ petition.  

For further details on how you can help us, please click here.

Thank you!



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USA seeks whaling deal with Japan!
In the past few years the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has been engaged in a process to try and determine the organisation’s future. The IWC, established over sixty years ago to regulate the whaling industry, is deadlocked in an increasingly acrimonious dispute over its future direction,  with the pro-whaling nations: Japan, Norway and Iceland, demanding an end to the 23 year old moratorium (ban) on commercial whaling,  while anti-whaling nations and animal welfare,  environmental and conservation groups want a permanent end to all commercial whaling.
During the ban, around 25,000 whales have been slaughtered by the defiant whaling nations and this year Japan, Norway and Iceland will kill over 2,500 whales between them, exploiting loopholes in the IWC Convention that allow whaling ‘under objection’ to the whaling moratorium (Norway and Iceland), or for so-called ‘scientific research’ (Japan).
However under the Chairmanship of the United States, the IWC has entered in to a process of negotiations that could see an end to the whaling ban, not whaling. A compromise “package” has emerged that would remove the whaling ban and allow the last three whaling nations – Japan, Iceland and Norway,  to resume commercial whaling.
The compromise package favoured by the US will be discussed again at a special IWC intercessional meeting in Rome in early March  before being presented to the IWC’s annual meeting in Madeira this June. It  proposes to allow Japan to resume coastal whaling operations in exchange for a reduction in the hundreds of whales the country slaughters every year for alleged ‘research’ in Antarctic and north-Pacific waters.  Antarctic waters were designated a whale sanctuary by the IWC in 1994.
The compromise deal is a response to Japan’s serial threat to leave the IWC if the whaling ban is not lifted, and it appears it is Japan that the US is most keen to placate. However, there seems no way that a deal could be struck with Japan alone,  and that would open the door to renewed or expanding commercial whaling in other countries, including Iceland and Norway.

Campaign Whale has been fighting compromise proposals that would legitimise a resumption of commercial whaling for some fifteen years. The deal is shamefully supported by some well known ‘anti-whaling’ groups that have sort to justify compromise  by arguing that whaling is 'out of control' and that such a deal 'would reduce the numbers of whales killed'.  Campaign Whale does not accept this argument. Any deal that legitimises commercial whaling would see the rebirth of an industry we have fought over thirty years to end, would mean countless thousands more whales killed and no hope of ever ending this cruel, outdated and unnecessary industry.

 Please save the whales President Obama!

This is the most critical time for the whales since whaling was banned over twenty years ago. Please contact the US Embassy in your country, or President Obama directly, or preferably both, asking that the US reverses its current whaling policy and reaffirms its support for whale conservation by:
  •      Reaffirming the US’ opposition to commercial whaling
  •      Opposing any compromise packages, including creating any new category of whaling, that would lift or undermine the IWC’s whaling moratorium
  •       Using its considerable political and economic strength to take a lead in negotiating with the whaling nations to end commercial whaling
  •     To press for the reformation of the IWC, creating a modern conservation organization dedicated to the global protection of whales.

Please do all you can, and invite friends, family and workmates to do the same. This really is the last stand for the whales! Please write, telephone, email or preferably all three!  The contact details are:


President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
White House public comment line: 001- 202-456-1111
To send an email message go to:
The US Ambassador in London:
US Ambassador Robert Holmes Tuttle
24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 1AE
United Kingdom
For UK contact details please visit:

To find the US Embassy in your country, please visit:

This really is the last stand for the whales, please help them!  Thank you. 

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Japan spares humpbacks to end whaling ban
Campaign Whale Press Release – No embargo
Japan spares humpbacks - but only to end whaling ban
Today’s announcement that Japan will not kill 50 humpback whales this winter could spell the end of the 21 year old ban on commercial whaling said a whale protection group today.
Campaign Whale fears that a deal has been struck to negotiate the lifting of the whaling ban at a special intercessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to be held next March in London. The annual meeting could vote on proposals to lift the ban as early as next June.
After bilateral negotiations with the United States, Japan surprisingly announced today that they would spare the 50 humpbacks. However, the humpbacks are just a tiny portion of a massive whale slaughter, the biggest since commercial whaling was banned,  that will take place in Antarctica over the next 3 months, including 950 minke and 50 fin whales.
Japan has already killed almost 500 whales in the north-Pacific for ‘research’ this summer including endangered minke, sei, Bryde’s and sperm whales - to little protest. Campaign Whale believes that the popular ‘singing’ humpbacks, subject to a huge international whale-watching industry, were simply a cynical ploy to persuade governments that they must agree to lift the whaling ban for other species.
“We believe that Japan has spared the humpbacks in exchange for a commitment from the United States and other governments to agree a plan to lift the commercial whaling ban, possibly as soon as next year” said Campaign Whale Director Andy Ottaway,
“The sad reality is that countless thousands of whales face a cruel death unless and until world governments stand up to Japan and tell them that whaling must end, or face economic and political sanctions.”
“All diplomacy has failed to force Japan, Norway and Iceland to end the cruel slaughter of whales.  Japan is clearly intent on brokering a deal to kill countless whales in the future. If they succeed, these spared humpbacks are a very hollow victory indeed”
For further information please contact Andy Ottaway on:
01273 471403 Mobile: 07855 666069.
Editors Notes:
  • Japan has killed almost 20,000 whales during the whaling ban, mostly under the guise of ‘research’
  • Japan also kills up to 20,000 smaller whales, dolphins and porpoises each year that they claim are exempted from the IWC’s whaling ban
  • The IWC is considering a compromise plan to lift the whaling ban at a special meeting in London next March. Voting could take place by the full Commission in June.
  • A meeting will take place in Tokyo in January where compromise proposals will be discussed to ban whaling in the southern hemisphere only. That would allow whaling by Japan, Norway and Iceland to continue under authority of the IWC.

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Japan sets sail for massive whale kill

On Sunday 18th November  Japan's whaling fleet set sail for the Antarctic aiming to conduct the biggest single whale slaughter since commercial whaling was banned over twenty years ago.  The whalers are targeting 1,035 whales for so-called ‘research’, cynically exploiting a legal loophole in the whaling convention.  

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has repeatedly condemned the hunt, most recently at its annual meeting held in Anchorage last May.

Japan has killed over 10,000 whales for ’research’ since the IWC banned commercial whaling in 1986. All the meat is sold commercially with the choicest cuts an extremely expensive delicacy in Japanese restaurants.

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Campaign Whale calls for EU action to stop whaling

Campaign Whale Press Release

Thursday October 4th October – No Embargo
Whale protection organisation Campaign Whale and Green MEP Caroline Lucas today presented a 100,000 hand-signed petition to European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas in Brussels calling for urgent action to improve protection for whales and prevent the resumption of whaling. The petition calls for existing loopholes in EU legislation that permit whale killing, to be closed, to reflect overwhelming public concern.

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Stop Japan's dolphin slaughter!
Once again, Campaign Whale is supporting an international day of protest in London and cities around the world to demand an end to Japan’s dolphin and porpoise hunts. We appreciate this is a working day but please try to attend if you possible can. It is very important that we have a good number of protesters on the day. We will provide you with a placard but please make your own placard or banner and bring it along if you so wish.  

If you cannot attend please call the Japanese Embassy in London and politely register your protest to:

Ambassador Nogami on 0207 465 6500.


Stop Japan’s dolphin hunts!
Tuesday 25th September 2007 12-2 pm Japanese Embassy, 101-104
Piccadilly, London.Nearest Tube: Green Park



Please also wear something red and bring a red flower and a polite message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with you to lay at the Embassy steps, calling for an end to the slaughter of dolphins and porpoises in Japan

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Iceland announces end to commercial whaling

Campaign Whale welcomes the announcement by Fisheries Minister Einar Guofinnsson that the Icelandic Government will not permit more whaling after the current quota expires on August 31.

 "I will not issue a new quota until the market conditions for whale meat improve and permission to export whale products to Japan is secured," he said, "There is no reason to continue commercial whaling if there is no demand for the product."

Iceland resumed commercial whaling last October in defiance of an international moratorium on commercial whaling introduced by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986.

The government set a quota of 30 minke whales and nine fin whales, listed by the IUCN-World Conservation Union as an endangered species, but whalers have only killed seven minke whales and seven fin whales to date. However, more minke whales are likely to be killed for 'research.'

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Campaign targets UK Supermarket giants to save 600 whales
Tues 19th June 2007: Press Release: No embargo
Campaigners call on major UK Supermarkets to help save 600 whales
Campaign Whale and the Marine Connection today launched a campaign calling on supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s to stop buying Icelandic fish products in protest at the country’s resumption of whaling. Iceland resumed commercial whaling last October and their whalers have already killed 7 endangered fin whales and two minkes out of a quota of almost 70 whales, including 30 minkes for so-called ‘research’.
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute, currently killing minke whales for ‘research’ condemned as unnecessary by the IWC, has just proposed that Iceland could kill up to 600 whales next season. Campaign Whale’s Andy Ottaway, who has just returned from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Anchorage which upheld the existing ban on commercial whaling, said:
Iceland claims whales must be culled to protect fish stocks. The UK is the biggest market for Icelandic fish and prawns, and Tesco and Sainsbury’s, hold the biggest market share. The public don’t want to buy fish tainted by the slaughter of whales and Tesco and Sainsbury’s can do something about that'

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Iceland's Baugur Group says 'no' to whaling!

11th March 2007

The huge Icelandic Investment company The Baugur Group, which owns many retail outlets in Iceland, has followed up its public statement in January opposing the country''s resumption of commercial whaling by banning the sale of whale products from all its stores in Iceland. Baugur representatives met with Campaign Whale in January to discuss the whaling issue.

This move comes as a further blow to both the Government and the whalers who are having difficulty selling whale meat in Iceland.  T he Baugur Group has publicly stated that they see Iceland''s resumption of whaling as a serious threat to Iceland''s business interests abroad. 

Campaign Whale is leading a coalition of groups meeting with fish retailers in the UK calling on them to review their fish buying policies and reject claims that whales must be culled to conserve fishstocks. This argument has no scientific credibility whatsoever and we believe the public do not want to buy fish from countries that use this spurious argument to justify the cruel slaughter of whales for profit.

Please see our ''don''t buy your fish from whale killers'' campaign section for further information on how you can help

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Fluke jewellery

Special offer to Campaign Whale friends and supporters!
Campaign Whale is delighted to associate with Fluke jewellery - makers of exceptionally beautiful sterling silver jewellery, hand-crafted in the Orkney Islands of Scotland.

This wonderful range of unique jewellery, themed on whales, dolphins and the marine environment, has been made available exclusively to Campaign Whale.

Please visit to see it for yourself.

Every sale benefits Campaign Whale and our vital work to help protect whales dolphins and porpoises, and the environment .

So, why not look great, for a good cause!

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