Australian Government must take action to protect our whales
Humane Society International (HSI) today expressed its disbelief at the incursion of another Japanese whaling vessel into the Australian Whale Sanctuary in blatant disregard of Australian environmental law and objections from the Australian Government.
“It is clear that it is not enough for the Government to continue to ‘strongly object’ to the passing of whaling vessels through Australian waters, when such objections are simply ignored” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “It is time for the Australian Government to stop the rhetoric and take action to protect our whales.”
In January 2012 HSI wrote to the Prime Minister urging her to immediately enforce not only the 2008 Federal Court Injunction but also provisions under our Federal environmental law to prevent any further slaughter of whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean – and to do so within the entire 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). No response has been received to date.
“The Australian Government is fully aware of the Japanese whaler’s plans to kill whales in our waters, yet seems unwilling to stand up and implement our environmental laws – laws that clearly state that whaling or assisting whaling activities in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in any way, anywhere within our waters, is an offence” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, it is an offence for a whaling vessel to operate anywhere inside Australia’s 200 nautical mile EEZ, not just within our 12 nautical mile territorial waters.
1. In 2008, HSI succeeding in gaining a Federal Court injunction against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd., the company responsible for whaling in the Southern Ocean. Further information on HSI's court case against Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd is available at http://www.hsi.org.au/?catID=85
2. HSI believes that the enforcement of this injunction can be complementary to Australia’s ongoing legal case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Japan’s ‘scientific’ whaling program.
3. Last year, 108 female minke whales were killed, almost 80% of which were pregnant. This figure equates to 50% of the total 170 minke whales killed being pregnant females.