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Senate condemns Japan for breaching international and Australian law ahead of Sea Shepherd’s Hobart departure

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 3 Dec 2016

Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson today met with the Sea Shepherd crew in Hobart before they leave to search for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, "In the dying hours of the last day of the Parliamentary year, the Australian Senate passed my motion condemning illegal whaling and the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean.

"The Senate also called for the Government to uphold their election commitment to send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor illegal whaling activity. 

“Actions speak louder than words and I’m hopeful that our new Environment Minister will show some backbone and real commitment and send the strongest possible message to Japan that the Australian people and parliament find whaling unacceptable. 

"Sea Shepherd shouldn't have to be taking on the whalers again this summer. Australia won the International Court of Justice case against Japan, but unfortunately the Liberal government put trade deals ahead of whales and removed all diplomatic pressure.

"The Liberal Government's silence on whaling was a green light to Japan to keep going.  

"I wish Sea Shepherd all the success in preventing the senseless and unnecessary death of 333 whales this summer," he concluded.

“The Japanese whaling fleet might be able to escape and outrun the international courts but it wont escape Sea Shepherd


For comment contact Emma Anglesey - 0419 364 450 

Read the full motion —————-

Environment—Whaling Activity in the Southern Ocean

Senator Whish-Wilson amended general business notice of motion no. 153 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved

—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   Australia successfully pursued legal action in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Japanese Southern Ocean whaling program, JARPA II,

                 (ii)   the Federal Court of Australia found the Kyodo whaling company guilty of contempt relating to illegal whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and the company was issued a fine of $1 million,

                (iii)   Japan has subsequently pulled out of the ICJ jurisdiction in relation to whaling, and has restarted a new whaling program, NEWREP-A,

                (iv)   the NEWREP-A whaling fleet left port in Japan on 18 November 2016 to hunt 333 minke whales from the Southern Ocean, and

                 (v)   a recent poll found that 75 per cent of Australians supported sending a patrol boat to monitor this whaling activity;

    (b)   calls on the Government to honour their election and policy commitments to send a patrol vessel to the Southern Ocean over the coming summer to monitor whaling activity and to collect further evidence for additional international legal action; and

     (c)   condemns the flouting of international law by recommencing illegal whaling activity in the Southern Ocean.


Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.

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