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No more whaling, please

No more whaling, please

The Green Party is calling on the Japanese Government to recall its whaling fleet and spare the lives of the more than 1000 whales it plans to slaughter for 'scientific purposes' in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

"This year, the whalers will also be targeting 50 humpback and 50 fin whales, alongside 935 minkes. Fin whales are endangered and Humpbacks are classed as threatened," Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"Not only is this slaughter inhumane, but by targeting humpback whales the Japanese Government is also attacking our tourism industry. Ironically, an industry enjoyed by more than 136,000 Japanese visitors in 2006. Migrating humpbacks are one of the species seen by thousands of international visitors each year who take whale watch tours.

"The international community has condemned the whale hunt, yet the Japanese Government has consistently ignored the pleas to stop maintaining the woeful stance that the slaughter is justified in order to conduct scientific research.

"This is such rubbish. Everyone knows it is a ruse to continue commercial whaling even though there is an international moratorium," Mrs Turei says.

"Reports from Japan indicate that the market for whale meat is dwindling and Japanese people are increasingly dropping it from their diet. Last year we saw stories come out of that country that there was so much left over from the previous whaling season that it was being turned into dog food.

"Last whaling season was cut short after a fatal fire on one of the Japanese boats. The fleet returned to Japan with only 60 percent of its quota, however, the lack of whale meat hardly seemed to be noticed."

"I implore the Japanese Government to put and end to this needless slaughter. If it feels there is a need to conduct scientific research, this can be done without having to kill a single whale," Mrs Turei says.

ENDS

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