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McCully: NZ Backs Debate On Reducing Whale Kill

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Murray McCully
Murray McCully

New Zealand supports the debate at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) exploring ways of reducing the number of whales being killed, without endorsing any of the specific proposals being advanced, Foreign Minister Murray McCully said today.

"The IWC discussion is only one of several formal and informal processes currently taking place, and we are supportive of all efforts to reduce whaling," Mr McCully said.

"Since the moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced in 1986, the numbers being killed through 'scientific whaling' has gradually increased, and four years ago Japan unilaterally doubled its 'scientific quota' in the Southern Ocean.

"In addition, the IWC is polarised, with pro-whaling countries able to block efforts to improve conservation measures. The IWC's ability to reach agreement on whale management issues is critical, as it is the key forum for restraining the activities of whaling nations.

"However, the IWC process is only one of several initiatives currently taking place. New Zealanders are involved in one way or another in each of these because finding a way of reducing the number of whales being killed is an important objective on which we urgently need to make progress," Mr McCully said.

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