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NZ delivers diplomatic protest to Norway

21 April 2006

NZ delivers diplomatic protest to Norway over whaling

New Zealand was one of twelve countries that delivered a formal diplomatic protest to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry in Oslo yesterday over Norway’s plans to increase its whaling activities.

“New Zealand is concerned that the Norwegian government has increased its quota to 1,052 minke whales for 2006, the highest whale take by Norway for two decades," Conservation Minister Carter said.

“We do not know the effects this will have on whale populations. The criteria Norway used for setting the quota haven’t been properly assessed and peer reviewed by the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee.

“We are also very concerned about Norway’s announcement that it is considering taking whales from international waters” said Mr Carter.

Although a global ban on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986, Norway entered a formal objection to the ban and resumed whaling in 1993.
Since then it has ignored repeated calls to respect the moratorium and stop its commercial whaling operations.

The protest, or demarche, restated in the strongest possible terms the opposition of New Zealand and the 11 other participating countries to Norway's whaling activities, and called on Norway to abandon its whaling plans. The other nations involved included the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

Mr Carter said the demarche was one example of the diplomatic methods like-minded countries were using to apply pressure on whaling nations.

"We will continue to pursue these efforts vigorously. I will be attending the International Whaling Commission meeting in St Kitts and Nevis in June and we will be doing all we practically can to preserve the moratorium on commercial whaling, ” he said.

ENDS

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