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Whaling: 10 activists arrested in protest

10 activists arrested in whaling protest - Greenpeace vows to continue defending whales


St Kitts/ Sydney: As the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in St Kitts concluded proceedings overnight Sydney time, a peaceful protest by Greenpeace in St Kitts was abruptly ended by police, who arrested ten activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise as they attempted to land on a beach and peacefully protest the number of whales killed by Japanese whalers last season.

The activists arrived in inflatable boats and were arrested as they attempted to create a symbolic "whale graveyard" display using 863 cardboard whale tails - one for each whale caught by Japanese whalers last season in the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary. The Arctic Sunrise was barred from St Kitts waters last weekend prior to the IWC meeting.

Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International said, "To arrest people for a peaceful protest is ludicrous - the real safety issues are on the high seas, where whales are being killed on an ongoing basis.

“Greenpeace will return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary later this year where we will continue to peacefully defend the 935 minke whales and ten endangered fin whales from the Fisheries Agency of Japan's grenade-tipped harpoons," he said.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific chief executive Steve Shallhorn said, "It's time the IWC and the nations of the world realised that the slaughter of whales cannot continue.

"It is safe to say the whalers did not take over the IWC, but no progress was made to stop the annual slaughter of thousands of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which will include humpback whales in 2007," he said.

“No resolution or motion was tabled by the whale-friendly Governments condemning or calling for an end to the slaughter of whales in the name of science each year.

"The whalers have won their first vote against the whales in over twenty years; it is now up to all of us to make sure it is their last. Greenpeace will again return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this year to defend the whales. It’s now time the Australian government took some real action," he said.

The campaign for an end to whaling is part of the most ambitious ship expedition ever undertaken by Greenpeace. The 14-month long "Defending our Oceans" expedition is exposing the key threats to our oceans and offering real solutions, a global network of marine reserves covering 40 percent of the worlds oceans, protected from industrial exploitation and destruction, industrial fishing and hunting. Visit: http://oceans.greenpeace.org

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