Jun 17, 2006

IWC defeats for Japan welcome, but Court action needed to stop whale slaughter

IWC defeats for Japan welcome, but Court action needed to stop whale slaughter

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

17 June 2006

Labor welcomes the defeat of pro-whaling nation proposals at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in the Caribbean.

Sadly, this week’s IWC meeting will not stop Japan slaughtering whales.

Japan uses a loophole that allows for so-called scientific whaling, and it will slaughter more whales in 2006 than ever before, including humpback whales.

Comments at the meeting by Japan’s representative Joji Morishita confirm whales are being killed for lunch, not for science. He stated "The situation is not different from a farm tour with a BBQ lunch."

41 resolutions have been passed by the IWC against so-called scientific whaling, but sadly more whales are dying every year in Australian waters.

It’s time the Howard Government took Japan to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to stop whaling for ever.

Japan will go on slaughtering whales until a Court tells them it is unlawful.

Legal action would put steel into our diplomatic efforts and show the world we are serious about stopping the slaughter of whales.

Strong legal advice by Professor Don Rothwell and others, prepared for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, shows that Australia could successfully challenge Japanese whaling at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

In 1999 the Howard Government’s successfully appealed to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to stop Japan’s experimental fishing program for southern blue fin tuna. This appeal was led by then Attorney General Daryl Williams.

Taking legal action in 1999 helped the campaign to stop illegal tuna fishing and we should take legal action in the campaign to save whales.