There was a time when people killed other people in sacrifices to appease their gods.
And there was a time when killing whales was an accepted means of global commerce.
Thankfully times have changed. At least for most of the world. Japan, however, appears intent on turning back the clock to darker times for the world’s largest mammals. But they’re facing stiff opposition.
New Zealand’s government has joined Canberra in rejecting the Japanese push for commercial whaling.
Ahead of an International Whaling Commission meeting in Brazil on Monday (AEST), New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters issued a statement calling the organisation to show leadership on conservation.
‘Now is not the time to step backwards,’ he said.
The Japan Fisheries Agency wants an end to the commission’s whaling moratorium and for new commercial whaling quotas to be established by 2020.
‘New Zealand continues to support the moratorium on commercial whaling. We want to see the commission’s efforts on whale conservation strengthened, not weakened,’ Mr Peters said.
Senator Anne Ruston, who was recently appointed to the Australian government’s international development and Pacific portfolio, last week said Australia would also be opposing and called on other nations to follow suit.
‘We will also oppose any attempts to weaken the commission’s decision-making rules or establish catch-limits for commercial whaling,’ she said on Friday.
Aboriginal subsistence whaling, governance reform, special permit whaling and the establishment of a South Atlantic whale sanctuary are also on the agenda for the meeting.
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The Australian Tribune with AAP