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Wednesday, April 7

Whaling countries mock IWC compromise

Pro-whaling countries have hiked up their whaling quotas in an attempt to skew the negotiations at the upcoming IWC meeting, and are manipulating New Zealand’s negotiating position, the Green Party said today.

"Norway’s quota is the highest in 25 years. It is neither a reflection of consumer demand nor scientific need, but a political decision to skew negotiations," Green Party Oceans Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.
According to the Telegraph newspaper in London, Norway’s quota has jumped from 885 last year to 1286 this year.

Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett has called the move 'unhelpful and provocative.'

Mr Hughes said: "Pro-whaling countries are setting themselves up to make a mockery of these negotiations, just as they have made a mockery of the good faith of the IWC Convention in the past. The New Zealand Government should not change the law to suit those who break it.

"Sir Geoffrey Palmer entered negotiations in good faith, but it is now clear this approach is not working. New Zealand needs a stronger stance.

"The New Zealand Government needs to focus on an end to whaling, because clearly whaling nations intend to abuse any compromise deal at the IWC. We must stand beside our Australian partners in this battle and take international legal action," Mr Hughes said.