Archbishop Tutu is saving the whales

Posted by Laura Grant on November 28, 2008
Posted in Conservation


Picture: © IFAW, T. Samson

‘This [campaign against the killing of whales] warns us that we are slowly ourselves committing a kind of suicide. If it is not a physical suicide, it is a moral and ethical suicide. For our own sakes we need to recover our humaneness, and our humanity. It is time to say no, no, no! to the killing of whales’ – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

South Africa’s much-loved Archbishop Desmond Tutu, well-known internationally for speaking out against apartheid, is adding his voice to the anti-whaling campaign.

Yesterday, he launched the Sacred Ocean – Global Voices Against the Cruelty of Whaling initiative at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town by unveiling a 3,4-metre high sculpture named Sacred Ocean by renowned cetacean artist and conservationist Noel Ashton.

The sculpture has been given pride of place in the foyer of Cape Town’s Two Oceans Aquarium.

The installation also features a touch-screen where visitors can register their opinions on whaling and send a “virtual postcard” of themselves and the sculpture to three friends. Tutu cast the first vote via the touch-screen yesterday.

Dr Patrick Garratt, managing director of the Two Oceans Aquarium, said: “The exhibit provides a unique platform for us to gauge public sentiment on the practice of whaling. For the first time ever, people from across the globe will be able to vote for or against whaling and communicate their opinion to the decision-makers.”

Sacred Ocean is a campaign by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Jason Bell-Leask, the Southern African director for IFAW, said: “As we launch Sacred Ocean to celebrate and save whales, we do so knowing the whaling fleets have already set sail for the Southern Ocean Sanctuary to hunt and kill more than 1,000 whales – some of them endangered species – in a sham called ‘scientific whaling’.

“We believe that IFAW’s Sacred Ocean – Global Voices Against the Cruelty of Whaling will send a powerful message that ordinary, and not so ordinary people, are against the appalling and unnecessary cruelty of whaling.”

The Two Oceans Aquarium, is one of South Africa’s top tourist attractions and annually welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world. If you’re going to be visiting the V&A Waterfront, pop in to the aquarium and register your vote.

The campaign also has its own website.

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