Netherlands must act against hunting of protected whales

19 November 2007

Netherlands must act against hunting of protected whales

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen must summon the new Japanese ambassador to protest against his country's stepping up of whale hunting, says SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen. Under the guise of 'scientific research', Japan is to resume hunting of the seriously endangered humpback whale.

Japan is treating international agreements with complete contempt, disguising commercial whaling by claiming scientific purposes. The country is now, however, going one step further, adding seriously endangered species to the list of those to be hunted.

Commenting on the move, Krista van Velzen said:

Krista van Velzen “Last month Mr Minoru Shibuya began his term as Japanese ambassador to the Netherlands. He should be asked to explain to the Dutch people why his country is legitimising the hunting of a protected species, in contradiction of every relevant agreement."

The number of participants in the International Whaling Commission (IWC), under the supervision of which the whale is protected, is growing. This is not because more countries are sympathetic to the idea of protecting whales, but because small countries are being 'bought' – induced by various means to give their support to those countries which want to get rid of measures aimed at protecting vulnerable animals. The whaling countries and those which prioritise protection are at odds with each other, and the balance between the votes available to the two sides in the IWC threatens slowly to change in favour of the whalers."

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