Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the decision by Sea Shepherd to pull out from their Southern Ocean mission to protect whales from slaughter.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Make no mistake, thousands of whales are alive today because of the efforts of Sea Shepherd putting themselves in front of harpoons in the Southern Ocean.
“Only recently it has been reported that whale numbers have rebounded and Sea Shepherd can take some of the credit for this.
“I pay tribute to the crews of Sea Shepherd, past and present, for their bravery and sacrifice in fighting for our natural world.
“Without Sea Shepherd the world would not see the slaughter of whales and there would be no public pressure for anyone to act, not that this government have done much.
“In opposition, Liberal Environment Spokesperson Greg Hunt stated that Sea Shepherd was doing the government’s job for them, and promised in an election commitment to a send a Customs Vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor Japanese whaling in our waters and the international whale sanctuary.
“The Liberal Government, almost four years in power, have been silent on whaling and have consistently broken their promise to send a Customs vessel to monitor illegal Japanese whaling.
“When I ask in Senate Estimates whether they are monitoring whaling activity all I get in return is ‘we don’t discuss operational matters’.
‘This year more than ever, with Sea Shepherd now withdrawing from their Southern Ocean campaign, our Prime Minster must immediately commit to send a Customs Vessel to the Southern Ocean, or they are sending a message to Japan that Australia effectively sanctions illegal whaling,” he concluded.