15 April 2010

Australian government says New York Times article on whaling was ‘completely wrong’

An article published by the New York Times today on the U.S. led effort to broker an agreement that would eventually ban whale hunting drew fire from government officials in Australia.

The article purports that Australia is one of three whaling countries—New Zealand and Chile being the other two—that support a compromise proposal. Australia’s International Whaling Commissioner Donna Petrachenko said the assertion was “completely wrong.”

She explained that Australia’s concerns were set out in a written response to the compromise proposal and were available on the International Whaling Commission (IWC) web site.

Petrachenko also expressed that Australia supports a robust conservation-focused proposal calling for a permanent end to whaling in the Southern Ocean within five years, an end to whaling in all IWC agreed whale sanctuaries and for all whaling to be brought under the control of the Commission ending the practice of countries being able to unilaterally grant permits for so-called 'scientific' whaling.

The long of the short of it, Australian officials want the elimination of all whaling other than what they call aboriginal subsistence whaling over a “reasonable period of time.”

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