Letters of Concern or Protest to Whaling Nations

The governments of Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to kill significant numbers of whales for commercial markets despite the international moratorium on commercial whaling that was passed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and came into effect in 1986.

By exploiting the technical loopholes of "objection" and "scientific permit whaling", these three nations defy the spirit of the ban in their efforts to sustain a cruel industry with a prolonged history of mismanagement and deception.

The Australian Government has made a commitment to the protection and conservation of whales at an international level. While whaling nations are well aware of the Australian Government policy on commercial whaling, it is important for those countries to know that it is not just government policy, but also the will of Australian citizens.

If you are concerned about the actions that these governments are authorising you can contact their leaders or their appointed representatives to Australia.

Listed below are the addresses for the governments of Japan, Norway and Iceland, and their official representatives to Australia. If you decide to write or send an email make it as long or as brief as you like.

Writing guide

A simple structure you might like to follow:

-     At the beginning, state clearly why you are writing.
-     Go on to explain your concern.
-     Close by stating what you want to see happen.
-     By all means express your views and feelings, but it is best to remain polite and courteous as well.
Mr Shinso Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
2-3-1 Nagata-cho
Tokyo   100-0014   Japan

Ms Erna Solberg
Prime Minister of Norway
P.B. 8001 Dep
0030   Oslo   Norway

Mr Inge Johannsson
Prime Minister of Iceland
150 Reykjavik   Iceland

EMBASSIES (to Australia)
Embassy of Japan
His Excellency Mr Sumio Kusaka
Embassy of Japan
112 Empire Circuit
[No email address available]

Embassy of Norway
His Excellency Ms Unni Klovstad
Ambassador  Royal Norwegian Embassy
17 Hunter Street

Embassy of Iceland
His Excellency Mr Stefan Skjaldarson
Embassy of the Republic of Iceland (Australia)
Land Mark Tower 1, No 802
8 North Dongsanhuan Road
Chaoyang District
BEIJING   100004   CHINA
E-mail: There is no Embassy of Iceland located in Australia. The Beijing office is the Icelandic representative for a number of countries including Australia and New Zealand.]


Whale and Dolphin Strandings

The term "stranding can be applied to a wide range of situations that can cause stress, injury and death to cetaceans. Similar situations can arise involving other sea creatures such as seals, turtles and dugongs.

A whale or dolphin stranding usually involves one or more whales or dolphins that have come ashore and are unable to free themselves, or have become trapped in shallows and are unable to return to deeper water. Cetaceans entangled in nets or lost in river systems may also be referred to as strandings. The one thing that all these scenarios have in common is that assistance from humans is usually required if the stranded animals are to survive.

Australian federal, state and territory governments have responsibilities for the conservation, protection and welfare of cetaceans. Procedures are in place to respond to strandings, although some state and local authorities are better structured and prepared than others. Volunteer stranding networks are also in place in some areas.

It is critical to advise the appropriate authorities as soon as you become aware of a stranded animal. A half-hour delay can make the difference between life and death.

It is even important to report dead cetaceans as they can reveal useful information about distribution, and natural history, while a necropsy can possibly determine the cause of death. You will find a Strandings Contact List for each Australian state and mainland territory at the end of this article.

The nature of strandings can vary greatly, from a single dolphin trapped in a tidal pool to a large pod of sperm whales aground on a rocky shoreline. This means that rescue strategies might be significantly different from one stranding event to the next. However, the basics are rather straightforward. Here are some guidelines:
-     Contact the appropriate authority urgently.
-     If you do not have the strandings numbers handy, police and local government offices generally have them in their emergency response contact lists.
-     Be careful of your own safety. Remember that stranded cetaceans are stressed, powerful wild animals.
-     Beware of other hazards as well. Sharks can be attracted to stranded cetaceans that are partially submerged.
-     Be mindful that many diseases can transfer between humans and marine mammals.
-     Remove jewelry; rings, watches and bracelets can scratch the animal.
-     Keep mammals wet, cool and shaded if possible. One good method is to cover the body with cloth, such as sheets, and keep them wet. Keep the pectoral fins (flippers) dorsal fin and tail flukes wet in particular as these are used by cetaceans for temperature regulation.
-     Avoid covering or pouring water directly onto the blowhole area.
-     Never use pectoral or dorsal fins or tail to move or lift a cetacean.
-     Stay as calm and quiet as possible and keep dogs and other pets far away.
-     Refrain from stroking or touching unnecessarily, even though this can be a natural human tendency.
If you report a stranded cetacean it is important to pass on as much information as possible. Take note of the following:
-     The exact location (and directions if it is a remote area).
-     The species (or a good description, especially the animal size).
-     How many animals (including any others that can be seen offshore).
-     The type of incident (stranded on the beach, trapped in shallows, entangled offshore).
-     The condition of the animals (alive, dead, injured).
-     Weather conditions.
-     Local terrain and conditions (sandy beach, rocky shore, heavy surf).
-     Access (can the spot be reached by a boat or car).
-     Any people or authorities in attendance or expected.
-     Any other details which may be relevant.
-     Your name and contact information.
-     It can also be very useful if you can send images or video using your mobile phone.

ORRCA Whale and Dolphin Rescue
(02) 9415 3333

National Parks & Wildlife Service
1300 361 967
(General contact number)

Marine Wildwatch
Ph: 1800 453 941
Wildlife Rescue (Darwin)
0409 090 840
(08) 8999 4536

Parks & Wildlife Commission
(08) 8999 5511

1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
(Whale, dolphin, dugong or turtle incidents)

Department of Agriculture andFisheries - Shark Equipment
1800 806 891
(Special number for entanglement in Shark Nets and Lines)

National Parks and Wildlife Service
1300 650 411
(Quote 465393)
Department of Primary Industries and Resources (Fishwatch)
1800 065 522

Department for Environment and Heritage
0417 801 084
0400 939 443
0400 998 656

South Australian Museum
0412 708 012

Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment
0427 942 537 (0427-WHALES)

Parks & Wildlife Service
1300 135 513

Whale and Dolphin Emergency Hotline
1300 136 017
Wildline (Wildlife Victoria)
13 000 94535 (13 000 WILDLINE)

Wildcare Helpline - Department of Environment and Conservation
(08) 9474 9055
(Sick or injured animals including cetaceans)


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