The opposition has called on the federal government to send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean to monitor the annual whale hunt.

Environment spokesman Greg Hunt on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Julia Gillard saying it was vital an Australian vessel be present in case of any clashes between Japanese whalers and the anti-hunt group Sea Shepherd.

"There is a real risk of conflict or collision causing injury, death or a major environmental spill in the event of a sinking," Mr Hunt said.

"I therefore call on you to dispatch the Customs vessel immediately before it becomes to late."

Mr Hunt says the stakes are high given Sea Shepard's "zero tolerance" campaign to prevent the death of any whale. He previously wrote to Ms Gillard about the issue on December 11.

Last week, Australia warned Japanese whaling vessels it won't tolerate protesters being threatened.

In a joint statement on Friday the Australian, US, New Zealand and Netherlands governments urged responsible behaviour from whalers and protesters and condemned "any actions that imperil human life at sea".

The call came after a US appeals court issued an injunction ordering Sea Shepherd and its head Paul Watson not to physically attack or endanger the whaling ships.

The protest ship must remain at least 450 metres from them at all times, the court ruled.

The order was sought by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), which undertakes the Japanese government's whaling programme through a loophole in International Whaling Commission rules that allows whales to be killed for research.

The two sides have previously clashed, with protesters throwing glass bottles containing paint or butyric acid at the whaling ships, and the whalers responding with water cannons.

A resolution passed by the International Maritime Organisation in 2010 compels whaling vessels to ensure the safety of protesters during demonstrations, rallies or confrontations on the high seas.

Australia remains resolutely opposed to commercial whaling, including so-called "scientific" whaling, and has expressed concern about hunting activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel