Media Release

Government ignored warnings on whaling

The Government ignored three written warnings from the Coalition to send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor this year’s whaling season.

One of the Japanese whaling fleet has now been detected in Australian waters.

The Shonan Maru No.2 entered Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Macquarie Island.

While we welcome the Government lodging a complaint with the Japanese Government, it all comes far too late.

This Government has been all talk, but no action when it comes to stopping whaling.

The Government has consistently turned a blind eye to the whaling operations by refusing to send a vessel to monitor the activities in the Southern Ocean.

The Coalition wrote three times to the Prime Minister in December and January requesting that the Government take early action to deal with the potential for conflict on the high seas and to independently monitor the whaling operations.

As is clear from recent years, tensions can run high between whalers and protestors and there is a real risk of conflict or collision causing injury, death or a major environmental spill in the event of a sinking.

We are now seeing a game of cat and mouse between the anti-whaling protesters, the Sea Shepherd, which tracked one of the Japanese vessels earlier this week and the whaling fleet.

The Government knew this would occur, but it sat on its hands and failed to act.