Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Industry, Innovation & Science

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Opposition to resumption of whaling in the Southern Ocean by Japan

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Australia strongly opposes the decision by Japan to resuming whaling in the Southern Ocean this summer.

The Australian Government has made repeated representations at the highest level to urge Japan not to resume whaling this year.

Representations have been made by the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Environment Minister.

We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research’.

In addition, the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee has raised significant questions about the science underpinning Japan’s new whaling plan, NEWREP-A, which are yet to be satisfactorily addressed.

The Scientific Committee has not had the opportunity to review the final plan for NEWREP-A.

Japan’s decision to implement NEWREP-A before the International Whaling Commission’s review process is complete is a matter of concern. Japan cannot unilaterally decide whether it has adequately addressed the Scientific Committee’s questions.

There is no need to kill whales in the name of research. Non lethal research techniques are the most effective and efficient method of studying all cetaceans.

Australian experts are working with other international scientists at the forefront of developing and applying modern non-lethal methods.

We will continue to urge Japan to pursue non-lethal methods of research and end its unnecessary whaling programme.

Australia has successfully brought action in the International Court of Justice to stop Japan’s whaling programme. Japan has previously said it would abide by the ruling.

Japan has now withdrawn consent for such matters to be litigated before the International Court of Justice.

Australia will continue to pursue the issue through the International Whaling Commission and in direct discussions with Japan.

Australia is committed to the protection of whales and we will continue to work with the international community to promote whale conservation and uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling.

(ENDS)

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