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"Scientific" whaling produces meat not answers

Editors:_ Fact sheets, still images and broadcast quality video b-roll are available at www.thenewsmarket.com/ifaw
IFAW Asia Pacific Director Mick McIntyre is attending the IWC meeting and is available for comment on 0408 884 999 Note: Anchorage is 18 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Illegal “scientific” whaling produces meat not answers

(Anchorage, Alaska – 30 May 2007) — Japan is making a mockery of international opinions, laws and the world’s best scientists by continuing its ‘scientific whaling’ sham in the face of international condemnation.

At today’s meeting a resolution, sponsored by 21 countries (including Australia), was adopted by a vote of 40 to two (with one abstention) condemning Japan’s whaling and calling on Japan to suspend its whaling program.

“Japan’s “scientific whaling” produces meat not scientific knowledge of whales. There is no scientific justification for killing whales in the 21st century. We already have sufficient information from non lethal research. The Japanese Government needs to stop whaling now,” IFAW Asia Pacific Director, Mick McIntyre said today.

A report by the IWC scientific committee has strongly criticized the scientific value of Japan’s whaling program noting that, “It is quite clear from the JARPA review workshop and subsequent discussions in the Committee that the 18-year JARPA programme involving killing 6,796 whales has added little to our understanding of minke whale biology or ecology.”

Not only is the science flimsy but Japan’s whaling activities are also unlawful. Australia’s leading international legal experts have clearly outlined how Japan’s rapidly expanding ‘scientific’ whaling program breaches the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling.

“Japan’s whaling program is illegal and will remain so until a government takes steps to challenge this unlawful activity”, said Professor Don Rothwell, chair of the Sydney Legal Panel

Advice by the Sydney Legal Panel clearly outlines legal channels the Australian Government can take to stop the Government of Japan from whaling, under any guise, in the Southern Ocean.

“The Australian Government is still saying all the right things in opposition to whaling, but diplomacy is failing - more talk will not stop Japan killing whales. The answer is clear – Japan needs to adhere to international laws and treaties,” Mr McIntyre said.

IFAW experts are attending this year’s meeting of the IWC. To learn more about IFAW’s global campaign to protect whales, and how you can join this important campaign, visit www.stopwhaling.com.au today.

ENDS

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