Friday, December 28, 2007

'Croc-hunter' Irwin's family to campaign against Japanese whaling

"Crocodile hunter" Steve Irwin's family plans a campaign against Japanese whaling to show that scientific data about whales can be obtained without killing them, the Australian's widow said Thursday. Terri Irwin said the project would be launched in 2008 through a whale watching business she bought after her husband's death last year."We can actually learn everything the Japanese are learning with lethal research by using non-lethal research," she told Channel Nine television."That's what I'm embarking on in 2008. We are determined to show the Japanese they can stop all whaling, not just humpbacks," she added.The research is to be carried out in the southern hemisphere in cooperation with Oregon State University, she said.Japan has been under fire for defying international protests and sending its whaling fleet into Antarctic waters to hunt around 1,000 whales, ostensibly for "scientific" purposes, exploiting a loophole in a 1986 moratorium on whaling.However, the Japanese bowed slightly to pressure last week by abandoning plans to kill around 50 humpbacks, which form the backbone of Australia's and New Zealand's lucrative whale watching industry.Irwin's daughter Bindi also plans to record a new anti-whaling song, "Save Me," and publicise it in Asia in a bid to raise awareness of the issue there, Terri Irwin said."Whales are such an integral part to the ocean and hunting is such a cruel and awful thing," she said."It needs to be something that is in our ancient past, not something that we continue to do."Steve Irwin, famed for his daring antics with dangerous animals, was killed by a stingray barb to his chest while filming last year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

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