Nov 17, 2005

Labor supports HSI legal action to save whales

Labor supports HSI legal action to save whales

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

17 November 2005

Japan’s expanded whale slaughter will begin later this month.

Japan’s new whale program will mean 1035 whales will get slaughtered in Antarctic waters every year.

300-450 of those whales will be illegally slaughtered in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica in breach of Australian law, but the Howard Government refuses to enforce the law.

The Howard Government has stated it opposes Japanese whaling, but at the same time intervened in a Federal Court case brought by Humane Society International, causing the Court to stop legal action against Japanese whaling companies.

Tomorrow HSI is appealing to the Full Bench of the Federal Court so it can proceed with its case against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd many breaches of Australian law.

In August 1999 the Howard Government appealed to the International Law of the Sea Tribunal to stop Japan fishing for southern blue fin tuna. Counsel appearing for the Australian Government before that Tribunal was the then Attorney-General Daryl Williams.

The Government was willing to take court action against Japan to protect Southern Blue-fin Tuna, but intervened to stop action to protect whales.

Labor strongly opposes the slaughter of whales and supports Australia’s whale watching industry.

The whale watching industry brings tangible benefits to people, coastal communities and tourism across Australia, while encouraging respect and care for these majestic marine mammals.