Government not doing enough to stop resumption of Antarctic whaling says National Whale Day poll

Friday, 26 June, 2015

(Sydney, 26 June, 2015)  On National Whale Day, new polling by IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) reveals only 17 percent of Australians believe the Abbott Government is doing enough to prevent the return of Japanese whaling in the Antarctic.1


Earlier this week, senior Japanese officials confirmed Japan still intends to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean at the end of the year despite the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee saying Japan had failed to give enough detail to explain why it wanted to kill almost 4,000 minke whales over the next 12 years. The IWC Scientific Committee findings follow an assessment earlier in the year by an independent Expert Panel convened by the IWC, which concluded Japan’s new proposal had not demonstrated the need to kill whales to achieve its objectives.


IFAW Marine Campaigns Manager Matthew Collis said: “Australians are overwhelmingly opposed to whaling but we rely on our Government to express the views of the public.  The Government must dramatically ramp up its efforts to prevent more whales being needlessly harpooned. This National Whale Day, we need a clear statement of intent from the Abbott Government about what it will do next.”


Last year the world’s highest court, the International Court of Justice, ruled Japan’s previous Antarctic whaling programme was illegal. However, Japan has sought to get around that decision by designing a new ‘scientific’ whaling programme, called NEWREP-A, targeting 333 minke whales a year for the next 12 years, over an Antarctic whale killing zone expanded by a third.


“It was Australia who brought the case to the World Court.  Understandably, many people hoped and believed this would stop Southern Ocean whaling altogether.  Yet despite the world’s highest court and expert scientists rejecting its whaling, Japan pushes ahead with its plans for further slaughter.


“We urge Japan to abandon its whaling plans and support instead Japan’s thriving whale and dolphin watching industry which offers a far more valuable economic alternative for coastal communities,” Mr Collis said.


As part of IFAW’s National Whale Day activities, the public can send a clear message directly to Japan by signing will be a petition to the Japanese Prime Minister, urging Japan to abandon its whaling plans. 


For more information on National Whale Day

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