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Government must protest whalers in our waters

9 February 2014

Government must protest whalers in our waters

The Government should do more to protest Japanese whalers that are reported to be in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone, the Green Party said today.

It has been reported that the Japanese whaling vessel the Shonan Maru No. 2 has entered New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has been reported to have requested the ship not to enter New Zealand's 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone and expressed disappointment that it has.

"It is offensive that Japanese whalers are in New Zealand waters. The Government should lodge a formal diplomatic protest through the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo," said Green Party Oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

"Murray McCully needs to do more than just express disappointment; he needs to send a strong diplomatic message to Japan that their whaling vessels are not welcome in New Zealand's waters.

"The Minister can express New Zealand's outrage at having a whaling vessel in our waters by sending a message to Tokyo.

“Earlier this month, the Australian Embassy in Tokyo passed on a diplomatic protest to the Japanese Government over a whaling support vessel entering Australia's EEZ.

"New Zealand can act like Australia has and lodge a protest in Tokyo,” said Mr Hughes.

ENDS

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