17 November 2000
Reaction To Departure Of Japanese Whaling Fleet For Antarctic A Credibility Test For World Council Of Whalers
The Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, has called on the World Council of Whalers meeting in Nelson, New Zealand, to
register a protest against the departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for Antarctic waters, where it intends killing up
to 440 minke whales for supposed "scientific whaling".
Ms Lee said that the indigenous people gathered for the World Council of Whalers meeting have a duty not only to
litigate their customary usage of whale material, but they have a greater duty—as indigenous guardians of these
important marine mammals—to ensure also that the whales survive.
"The World Council of Whalers must call upon the Japanese to desist from lethal so-called scientific whaling if they
want to show that they are not being culturally selective in their espousing of tradition," Ms Lee said.
"Surely what they say publicly about the departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for the Antarctic is a test of whether
or not the World Council of Whalers is a 'stalking horse' for Japanese commercial whaling interests," she said.
"I await evidence that they are truly indigenous people who have an intimate and long-standing historical interest in
the preservation of these magnificent animals."