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"We will fight for them on the beaches" - Greens

15 December 2007
"We will fight for them on the beaches" - Greens

New Zealanders are being urged to pick up arms - buckets and spades and
head for the beaches this summer in the fight against Japanese whaling.

"The Green Party is today launching a sand whale sculpture challenge and
we hope to see whales popping up on beaches all over New Zealand this
summer," Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Green Party volunteers and members of the public are meeting at Freyberg
Beach in Oriental Bay at 12.30pm today to build a 15-metre-long sand
whale, the first in what is expected to be many such sculptures to be
seen around the coastline over the holiday season.

This summer the Japanese aim to slaughter more than 1000 whales in the
Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the name of scientific whaling.
Included among them, for the first time since commercial whaling ended,
will be 50 humpbacks and 50 rare fin whales.

"Despite official protests and diplomatic measures at venues such as the
International Whaling Commission, little has changed. Scenes of
slaughtered whales being hauled onto the Japanese ships leave many
people feeling powerless and distressed.

"So this year we are hoping to send a message to the Japanese government
- 'we want to see whales in the sea - not on the menu'.

"We are urging New Zealanders during the holiday season to build their
own sand whale sculpture on a beach, take a picture of it with their
friends and family, and email it to us at whales@greens.org.nz and at
the end of summer we will compile all the pictures into a book and send
it to the Japanese Fisheries Minister and to Japanese media.

"In the meantime we will put the photos on our website for the rest of
the world to see.

"Many Japanese people are opposed to the so-called scientific whaling
programme and we want to support their efforts to have it stopped."


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