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New Zealand leadership needed to protect whales

The Green Party is deeply concerned by Japan’s resumption of commercial whaling, Green Party Animal Welfare Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.

“This is a sad day for whales and a real blow to international efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.

“I am very disappointed by Japan’s decision to pull out of the International Whaling Commission after the International Court of Justice ruled their previous whaling program was not for scientific purposes.

“Commercial hunting pushed whales to the brink of extinction in the 1980s, and today they still face threats from climate change, marine pollution and fishing by-catch.

“Japan are flouting international rules to continue to hunt whales for meat even though demand within Japan has plummeted.

“Aotearoa has long been at the forefront of whale protection and standing against commercial whaling.

“Just last year we began work on our largest ever marine mammal sanctuary to protect our blue whales.

“The Greens will be calling on the Foreign Affairs Minister to issue a strong statement condemning the inhumane slaughter of whales for commercial profit.