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New Zealanders in whales confrontation

New Zealanders in whales confrontation

Auckland, December 21, 2005: Greenpeace is tonight confronting the Japanese whaling fleet after finding it in the middle of slaughtering whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, south of New Zealand.

Two Greenpeace ships – Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise - are attempting to halt the slaughter of minke and fin whales.

Greenpeace New Zealand whales campaigner Pia Mancia said that the images coming out of the Southern Ocean were sobering.

“The people of the world thought that they put an end to whaling when an international ban was put in place in 1984, yet here we are in the 21st century with commercial whaling being carried out on New Zealand’s doorstep.”

For some time the Greenpeace ship Esperanza – with two New Zealanders on board – stopped the crews loading dead whales on to the factory ship Nisshin Maru by blocking the stern ramp, but withdrew after one of the catcher ships, the Kyo Maru Number One, attempted to push her out of the way.

Eight inflatable boats with crew from the two Greenpeace ships – Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise – carried banners calling for an end to whaling, and Yuko Hirono from Greenpeace’s Japanese office made a radio call to the whaling ships to leave the whale sanctuary.

Pia Mancia said that the Greenpeace ships would continue their campaign to thwart the Japanese fleet in its whaling activities and to expose its activities to the world.

“They say that this is scientific whaling, but scientists say this work is not needed, and the meat from the 1000 whales that will be killed will end up on the shelves of Japanese supermarkets,” she said.
“This is commercial whaling, and it’s got to stop. If we can’t even save the whales, what hope is there for the planet?”

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