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NZ remains opposed to ‘scientific’ whaling

25 June 2008 Media Release

NZ remains strongly opposed to ‘scientific’ whaling

New Zealand remains strongly opposed to so-called scientific whaling, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick today told the 60th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Santiago, Chile.

“New Zealand’s position on whaling is well-known and we will continue to work towards an end to Japan’s scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean,” Steve Chadwick said.

New Zealand made two interventions at today’s IWC meeting, one reconfirming its objection to Japan’s programme of special permit whaling, and the other expressing concern about safety in the Southern Ocean.

“The public feeling in New Zealand about whaling is very clear – 92 per cent of Kiwis want to see an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary,” she said.

Steve Chadwick today said that as Conservation Minister she received numerous calls from the public advocating for the end of scientific whaling and the government was committed to working through the new process to resolve long-standing substantive issues such as this. New Zealand’s intervention on scientific whaling was followed by several supportive statements from other countries.

Yesterday the 81 members of the IWC agreed to procedural changes and the establishment of a small working group to resolve the ongoing issues that have historically split the membership.

“New Zealand is also very concerned about the safety of people and vessels in the Southern Ocean during the Japanese whaling season,” Steve Chadwick told the meeting.

“The Antarctic is one of the most remote and harsh areas of the world, and if Japan continues with its previous activity in the Antarctic this coming season they will be in waters where New Zealand has responsibility for coordinating search and rescue.

“We are deeply concerned about people’s safety and the protection of the pristine Antarctic environment and will continue to work with Japan, Australia and other countries to deal with safety issues.”

New Zealand interventions to the IWC meeting attached.

ENDS

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