The Green Party in government will send a New Zealand Navy vessel to the Southern Ocean, to ensure Japan adheres to international law when it resumes whaling early next year.
The pledge comes on the heels of the Green Party’s announcement yesterday that it will establish New Zealand’s largest marine mammal sanctuary in the South Taranaki Bight.
“It’s our moral obligation to stand up to Japan and show that we will not stand idly by while vessels from that country slaughter these magnificent creatures,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.
“Sea Shepherd have recently announced they will not be tracking Japanese ships in the Southern Ocean, citing a lack of support from the Australian and New Zealand Governments.
“New Zealand has long been at the forefront of the international movement to ban whaling, and Japan is testing our leadership on this issue once again.
“A Navy vessel could monitor Japan’s activity in the Southern Ocean to ensure that unlimited whaling does not occur under the guise of scientific research.
“Expressing disappointment is not enough. We need to show Japan that there are consequences to their decision to flout the International Court of Justice’s ruling that scientific whaling is illegal.
“The Green Party in government will take every reasonable measure to protect these beautiful whales from being needlessly hunted down by Japanese vessels,” said Mr Shaw.