Convince Govt to Save Whales

( Never have whales been at greater risk than now as their future hangs precariously on the ability of citizens to campaign against a return to commercial whaling over the next two months, the Green Party said today.

“Today’s release of the Whaling Commission Support Group proposal, indicates that the Whaling Commission’s so-called compromise risks undermining decades of consensus on protecting whales – especially since pro-whaling countries have ramped up their hunt in recent years in an attempt to skew negotiations,” said Green Party Oceans Spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“This compromise rewards Japan for breaking existing international law.

“If this deal passes in June, hundreds of whales will still be slaughtered every year, including Bryde’s, Minke and the endangered Sei.

The deal has no mention of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and still allows whaling in the Southern Ocean, which New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully had previously committed to eliminating. The Green Party said that Mr McCully now has no option but to reject the compromise.

“New Zealand must not support this compromise. The reform will be voted on at the next Whaling Commission meeting in late June and needs a 75% majority of the Commission to be passed,” Mr Hughes said.

“Citizens of the world have two months to convince their Governments to vote against the compromise. Mr McCully has indicated that the New Zealand Government does not have to support this compromise.

“The Green Party has been campaigning against a return to commercial whaling, and for the New Zealand Government to stand with our traditional anti-whaling allies in a case to the International Court of Justice. The public response to our campaign has been overwhelming.

“This issue is dear to the hearts of New Zealanders and the public understand that they have the power to convince their Government to protect the whales,” Mr Hughes said.

Gareth Hughes will join in a protest against whaling at Parliament at 1230 23 April 2010.

Media Release 23 April 2010 from Gareth Hughes, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.