Whaling proposition slammed
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 5:08a.m.
In a rare political consensus, Labour, the Greens and ACT are all backing the Government's condemnation of South Korea's decision to resume whaling.
South Korea is copying Japan's controversial "scientific research" hunting expeditions, using a loophole in the international moratorium.
South Korea says the planned hunt comes in response to calls from commercial fishers concerned that whales are depleting fish stocks.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully slammed the proposition on Thursday as a serious setback to whale conservation.
"The portrayal of this initiative as a `scientific programme' will have no more credibility than the so-called scientific programme conducted by Japan, which has long been recognised as commercial whaling in drag," he said.
He plans to raise his concerns with South Korea's foreign minister at an East Asia Summit in Cambodia next week, while New Zealand's ambassador in Seoul was instructed to immediately register "serious concerns" with the South Korean government.
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says her party is outraged at Korea's proposition, and disappointed that the International Whaling Commission hasn't closed the scientific purposes loophole.
"The continued slaughter of whales is unacceptable and our Government should do everything it can to help end this abhorrent practice," she said.
Labour's conservation spokeswoman Ruth Dyson welcomed Mr McCully's strong and prompt stance on the issue.
"The global community has no taste for whale slaughter. And let's not pussy-foot around - that is what this is," she said.
ACT leader John Banks says it's an "international outrage".
"Like Japan, it remains ludicrous that they believe you need to kill whales to save them," he said.
"This thinking is as lamentable as it is obscene."
Prime Minister John Key, who is in Sydney, joined Australia in condemning South Korea's plan to resume whaling on Thursday.
"It's a terrible step in the wrong direction. We think it's unnecessary, we think it's inappropriate and we don't think the stocks would support that," Mr Key told reporters.
"Most people around the world would be disappointed if the Koreans took this step."
Greenpeace is also condemning the plans.
“We’ve got no place in the 21st century for an international body that’s still arguing over where and how whales can be killed,” Greenpeace ocean campaigner Karli Thomas says.
“They are under threat from so many different sources. Around 300,000 whales and dolphins are estimated to die every year entangled in fishing gear.”
NZN / RadioLIVE
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7/07/2012 12:07:22 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
Quote: "South Korea is copying Japan's controversial "scientific research" hunting expeditions, using a loophole in the international moratorium."What a joke - copying Japans scientific research which so far has only shown that Whale Steaks prices have increased every year and because of the anti-whaling stand taken by the rest of the world - the price just increases evry year as the Japanese market their "Rare Steaks".How scientific????The Korean Fishing Industry is not one you can trust when you consider the amount of good fish they have dumped and their treatment of their crews.We can all add to the protest in our own small way by not buying Korean made vehicles and Tv's etc.
7/07/2012 12:29:16 a.m.
Expect nothing from this John Keys neo-con Government. Remember the reckless actions of the japanese whaling fleet on Pete Bethune, Nothing from jonkey
6/07/2012 11:31:43 a.m.
This is a backlash from catching the Koreans out cheating on their quota and the dumping of our fish.
6/07/2012 11:31:09 a.m.
This is BS. It is not the whales depleting the fish stocks it is the Korean Fishings boats dodgey and immoral fishing practices that are deleting them. If they were concerned about the fish stocks then they would put in place effective fish management systems.
6/07/2012 10:24:29 a.m.
The issue is political - not environmental. The whales are simply a convenient way of scoring points in the electorate.
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