The proposal is the basis for negotiation between now and the
next International Whaling Commission (IWC) in June.
Details released this morning
(1) reveal that although the proposal makes a reduction to
whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary it includes a quota
for hunting endangered fin whales. There is no fixed date for an
end to the hunting in the sanctuary and no agreement on maintaining
international trade restrictions. Over the 10 years that this
proposal will run there is no reduction in the quotas in the
Nearly 200 people have gathered on parliament grounds carrying
placards in the shape of whale tails, stamped with the letters
R.I.P?, symbolising what is at stake.
"Our Government has a choice. Support a proposal that could
result in a real whale graveyard or fight for a proposal which
protects the future of whales and upholds New Zealand's long
tradition of whale conservation," said Greenpeace New Zealand
Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid.
"Greenpeace is campaigning for an end to commercial whaling
including all whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
"New Zealand now has an opportunity to break the deadlock in the
IWC but the challenge will be to ensure that any final agreement
guarantees a safe future for whales.
"IWC members need to fully commit to the negotiations to get the
deal the whales need, or else this could be remembered as the
moment we agreed to return to commercial whaling and the start of
the whales' demise.
The IWC should also be investigating allegations of major
corruption in the Japanese Government funded whaling programme,
made by two Greenpeace activists currently on trial in Japan,
rather than rewarding Japan for bending the rules of the Commission
in order to continue whaling.
Thousands of New Zealanders are calling on the Government to
reject any proposal which does not ensure the long term protection
for whales, including an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean, by
signing petitions promoted by Greenpeace, World Society for
Protection of Animals, Forest and Bird, Whale and Dolphin
Conservation Society and Project Jonah.(2)
The petitions will be presented to the Government during a
public rally outside parliament on June 2 at 12.30pm.
For more information:
Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace New Zealand Executive Director, 021
Phil Crawford, Greenpeace New Zealand media &
communications, 021 22 99 594
Notes to Editor
(1) The URL to the IWC proposal can be found here:
(2) Petitions are available from
Greenpeace briefing: Bringing the International Whaling
Commission into the 21st
Images of the whale graveyard in front of the Beehive will be
available from mid afternoon on the Greenpeace media gallery.
Images of whaling in the southern ocean are also available.