With news of another clash in the Southern Ocean, it is apparent that Minister Hunt’s broken promise to send a Customs Vessel has allowed the Japanese to get away with whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and to ramp up its aggression against the Sea Shepherd crews.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "the new aggressive tactics used by the Japanese whaling fleet has dramatically raised the stakes to unprecendented levels of danger.
"This was always our greatest fear, that the Japanese poachers would be more desperate this year and would employ new and ever more dangerous tactics.
“Before the election Greg Hunt boasted about the efforts he would make to halt whaling in the Southern Ocean. After the election it is nothing but feeble excuses.
“Every clash between the Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers, every time a whale is hauled aboard the Nisshin Maru, it is a symbol of his broken promise to the Australian people.
“In 2011 Greg Hunt called for the Gillard Government to send a Customs vessel to stop the whaling and to stop lives being risked at sea.*
“We need to ask the Environment Minister how a chartered passenger jet flying over the whaling grounds for 8 minutes will achieve this.
“How does an aeroplane flying over the ocean at 30,000 feet prevent whaling or act as a deterrent to dangerous actions by either fleet or pick up the pieces if something goes wrong?
“The Australian government’s failure to send the ACV Ocean Protector to the Southern Ocean means we have abrogated our responsibilities for ‘search and rescue’ for this region
“We are failing to prevent whaling and we are failing to meet our responsibility to keep watch across our Southern Ocean ‘search and rescue’ zone.
“Greg Hunt better act fast to get a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean, it is not just whales lives that are at risk,” Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.
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Media contact: Tim Beshara - 0409164603
*Greg Hunt said “Without a cop on the beat, in the form of an Australian Customs vessel, there is a real danger of lives being risked in Australian Antarctic waters.” http://greghunt.com.au/Home/LatestNews/tabid/133/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1698/Risk-of-Whaling-Conflict-on-the-High-Seas-Australia-Must-Have-Cop-on-the-Beat.aspx