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Send frigate to watch whalers - Greens

10 January 2005


Send frigate to watch whalers - Greens

The Green Party is urging the Government to send a frigate to Antarctic waters in response to news that Japan plans to send armed police or troops to guard its whaling fleet.

"We also join the Australian Greens in their call to for our respective Governments to not allow the use of ports or airports by whalers, their support facilities or any military personnel on their way to support the slaughter," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"New Zealand has taken a strong position against the resumption of commercial whaling, but now it is time to put our money where our mouth is and stand up and be counted the way we did when we sent the frigate to Mururoa Atoll in 1973. New Zealand had the courage to take action then and it should do the same now."

The frigate would be in a position to keep an eye on what is going on down there for the safety of our citizens on the protest ships, she said.

"Japan is flouting international agreements and public opinion by escalating its slaughter of whales, especially when everyone knows their claims of scientific research are just an excuse to get fresh whale meat onto Japanese dinner plates.

"The waters south of New Zealand and Australia down to the Antarctic are a whale sanctuary, yet the Japanese whalers ignore this and continue with their barbaric practice.

ENDS

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