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104,223 Kiwis say Yes to Global Whale Sanctuary

Wellington, 26th June 2000: Greenpeace will today present the Hon. Sandra Lee, Minister of Conservation a petition containing 104,223 signatures calling for the establishment of a Global Whale Sanctuary.

The presentation comes a week before the International Whaling Commission meeting that will consider a proposal by the New Zealand and Australian Governments to establish a whale sanctuary in the South Pacific. The South Pacific Whale Sanctuary is an important step in Greenpeace’s campaign for a Global Whale Sanctuary to permanently protect all whales.

“By signing this petition, the New Zealand public has shown their overwhelming support for permanent protection of whales”, said Greenpeace Ocean Ecology campaigner Sarah Duthie.

“The establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary, along with the existing Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuaries, is another step towards the establishment of a Global Whale Sanctuary”, said Duthie

“Sanctuaries are safe havens, places of refuge, where whales will never again have to bear the burden of commercial whaling practices”, said Duthie.

Greenpeace launched the global petition in New Zealand in January this year with the support of the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark and Sir Peter Blake.

Whale populations around the world have been devastated by past commercial whaling activities. Some species are slowly starting to recover since a global moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986. But Norway and Japan have continued to defy the ban, killing more than 1000 whales each year.

For more information contact: Sarah Duthie, Ocean Ecology Campaigner on 025-927-301, Chris Hay on 021-213-5603 Sue Connor on 09-630-6317 Images will be available

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