Australia's Prime Minister Urged to Discuss Whaling Again

harpooned whale
harpooned whale

By The Maritime Executive 01-17-2018 07:05:49

As Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull meets with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Thursday to discuss trade, the political party the Australian Greens and environmental organization Sea Shepherd have called on the government to refuse to deepen ties with Japan until it stops whaling in the Southern Ocean.

In November last year, Greens spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson welcomed the release of the Australian Government footage exposing details of Japanese whaling methods, obtained under Freedom of Information request by Sea Shepherd, saying: “This footage lays bare the brutality that is whaling. These whales are being killed and die slowly and in pain, sometimes drowning in their own blood. This slaughter happens for no legitimate reason and should be condemned.

“The Australian Government needs to make sure that people in Japan see this so they understand the gravity of what their country does in their name. I spent time in Japan recently, meeting with politicians and activists, and what is clear to me is that the Japanese public at large are oblivious to these activities.

“Malcolm Turnbull needs to get a copy of this tape, stick it in a diplomatic bag and send it to the Prime Minister of Japan. We need to let the Japanese Government and the Japanese public know that the Australian people aren’t going to stand for it.

“In opposition, the Liberal Party promised to send a customs vessel to police whaling by Japan in the Southern Ocean, but in Government they have retreated into a position of silence and inaction. It’s the weakest position an Australian Government has held on whaling since we adopted an anti-whaling policy in 1979.”

Japanese whalers are currently active in the Southern Ocean with a quota to slaughter 333 minke whales. “While Australia's Prime Minister visits Japan, their whaling fleet is slaughtering whales illegally in the Southern Ocean," said Sea Shepherd spokesperson, Adam Burling. "The Japanese whalers’ explosive, grenade tipped harpoons are currently being fired into these magnificent and peaceful creatures. The whales are killed in our waters, the Australian Whale Sanctuary. Prime Minister Turnbull must demand an end to whaling, anything less than would be aiding and abetting in this crime against the whales.”

In January last year, Turnbull met with Abe to discuss trade. He was also called on then to take a stronger stance on whaling.