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NZ response to extension of Japanese whaling

30 August 2000
Media Statement

Conservation Minister seeks options on appropriate NZ response to extension of Japanese whaling

The Minister of Conservation Hon Sandra Lee has asked her officials to consider what measures New Zealand might take in response to Japan's plans to add the killing of 10 sperm whales and 50 Bryde's whales to its annual kill of minke whales in the North Pacific.

In the wake of Japan's recent announcement to extend its whaling "harvest", the United States has warned of the possibility of imposing sanctions against Japan if it continued with its so-called "scientific whaling"

"We are at least as concerned about this development as the United States," Ms Lee said.

She said the latest Japanese initiative not only threatened species of whales
in the Pacific that had been safe since an international moratorium on
commercial whaling was imposed in 1987, but it undermined the moratorium itself.

New Zealand and a majority of the members of the international Whaling
Commission are "vehemently opposed" to actions by Japan to extend its annual
kill from minke whales to include some sperm and Bryde's whales.

"The recent meeting in Adelaide of the IWC once again resolved that the scientific information sought by the Japanese did not justify the killing of whales for research purposes, and that such information could be gained by non-lethal means," Ms Lee said.

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