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Kaikoura whales are in the Japanese kill zone

Nanaia Mahuta
Maori Development Spokesperson
3 January 2014
MEDIA STATEMENT

Kaikoura whales are in the Japanese kill zone

The Humpback whales which are part of the Ngai Tahu whale watching operation at Kaikoura could be slaughtered by Japanese whalers with grenade tipped harpoons this summer, says Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta.

New Zealand marine experts says the whales, which are along with Sperm whales seen on Ngai Tahu’s whale watching operations off Kaikoura, are now migrating into the Great Southern Ocean off Antarctica to feed.

“The Humpbacks whales have been included in this summer’s kill schedule by the Japanese whalers. The Japanese say they want to ‘harvest’ 50 Humpbacks and 50 Fins whales, along with 935 Minke whales, as part of their so called scientific whaling programme

“It must be a major concern to all Pacific whale tourism ventures that these magnificent creatures are being slaughtered in in the name of some very dubious science. Already 14,000 whales have been killed in the southern oceans since 1986 and this year the Japanese have a targeted kill of 1,035 whales. So what is left for their boffins to learn about the whales?

“Now our experts are saying that killing Humpbacks whales off Australia could impact on the chances New Zealanders have to see these extraordinary mammals. For our whale watching operations there is a real economic risk as Ngai Tahu made nearly $16 million last year from whale watching .This was money that was later invested in Ngai Tahu investments from dairying to tourism.

“We should also remember as the Japanese whaling fleet begins this annual kill, it will break Australia’s Federal laws which ban the slaughter of whales in their Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“ It is sad to think that there are whales now in the Great Southern Ocean that will soon be hunted down by whalers with harpoons, all in the name of science.”

ENDS

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