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Sea Shepherd should back off says Carter

Sea Shepherd should back off says Carter

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today flatly rejected threats from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society following a violent confrontation between protest ships and a Japanese Whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean.

"The Japanese whaling ship, the Kaiko Maru, issued a distress call this evening following a confrontation with two Sea Shepherd ships. I understand one Sea Shepherd vessel, the Robert Hunter, has been damaged in the confrontation, and the Kaiko Maru was temporarily immobilised when its propeller was entangled in a net," Mr Carter said.

"The Sea Shepherd's protest has gone too far. This is not the way to win an argument. Any further action on the part of Captain Paul Watson risks the loss of human life, and severe damage to the cause of whale conservation," Mr Carter said.

"The threat by Captain Watson to ram the Japanese ship tomorrow unless the New Zealand and Australian governments promise to halt Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, is appalling," Mr Carter said.

"New Zealand will not respond to threats. We are one of the most active anti-whaling nations in the world. We are proud of that fact and New Zealand will continue to determine its own foreign policy.

"I would remind Captain Watson that ramming the Japanese vessel would be a violent and repugnant act and directly contrary to the duty of all people on the high seas to act with due regard to the safety and wellbeing of others."


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