The UK-based network of SEA LIFE attractions is calling for a boycott of Japanese goods this Christmas in protest over Japan's Antarctic whale hunt.

There are twenty-five SEA LIFE centres in eight countries across Europe, and all of them are calling for the boycott.
And over the weekend of 1st and 2nd December 2007 any child under 14 who signs a special 'message to Santa' asking him not to bring them anything made in Japan this year, will be given free admission.

The Japanese fleet has gone to the Antarctic with the intention of killing 950 whales, including - for the first time - humpbacked whales.

"Japan uses a loophole in the charter of the International Whaling Commission to carry on whaling for so-called 'scientific' purposes," said SEA LIFE director and marine biologist Rob Hicks.
Rob Hicks - SEA LIFE Director and Marine Biologist
"The Japanese government ignores all diplomatic lobbying to stop this butchery, even though polls suggest that even the majority of Japanese people are against it.

"If we register our outrage in way that threatens their economy though, we think that may have more impact."

SEA LIFE Centres have begun regular broadcasting of the famous and haunting 'song of the humpbacked whale' over its aquarium sound systems to help rally support for its boycott.

The Centres' own gift shops are removing all Japanese goods from their shelves.

"When you consider the number of Japanese electrical products, mobile phones, computer games and other such items that help fill Christmas stockings, this protest could really make in impact," said Rob.

Primary schools are also being urged to make the painting of 'Stop Killing Whales' posters a special art assignment.

"Whichever school pupil paints the best poster will win a free SEA LIFE visit for his or her who school class," said Rob, "and we'll make a huge display of all the best entries."

The SEA LIFE network includes attractions in Finland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain and Ireland as well as the UK.

It has an impressive track-record of championing marine life causes, having petitioned the EU over turtle conservation, shark-finning and overfishing.

"This latest campaign is different in that there is no compelling scientific case to suggest that whale populations will be endangered by this hunt," said Rob.

"My colleagues and I feel no less strongly about it, though, as we all care passionately about whales and share a total abhorrence of this slaughter."
Issued by SEA LIFE Centres
For more details, please contact Mark Oakley 01202 440040 or by email

Press Release date: 20th November 2007

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