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Words not enough to save whales

18 November 2005
Words not enough to save whales

New Zealand needs to do more than just express outrage if it wants to stop the slaughter of whales by the Japanese, Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Mrs Turei met with Conservation Minister Chris Carter this week to outline options the Greens believe could be tried to put a halt to whaling.

Japan continued to defy international opinion this month by sending its whaling fleet to Antarctic waters. It plans to take about 900 minke whales this season and also kill 10 fin whales. From 2007 it also plans to start taking about 50 humpback whales each year.

"The world has expressed its outrage at Japan's continued 'scientific research' whaling despite an international moratorium being in place since 1986. It is clear that these pleas are falling on deaf ears and it is time for a more proactive approach," Mrs Turei says.

"I spoke with the Minister about a variety of options and am pleased to say that he is seriously considering these.

"One of these options was to impose a ban on any Japanese whaling ships, or their support vessels, from refuelling at any New Zealand ports.

"Another was to challenge Japan's position under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Japan is a signatory to this agreement and we believe that it may be in breach of parts of the Convention that ban the importation of endangered species primarily for commercial use.

"The Minister has acknowledged whaling is a serious issue and also wants to do something to stop this barbaric practice. I look forward to hearing from him once he has considered our suggestions," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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