New Zealand supports whaling compromise
The BBC reports that former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, who now represents his country at the IWC, is calling for a compromise that would allow Japan to engage in commercial whaling:
He said a compromise would lead to “a big reduction in the total number of whales killed compared with now”.
Mr Palmer said that if the IWC did not agree to a compromise when it meets in Morocco in June, all control over whaling could be lost.
“There is a big risk of that and I don’t relish it,” he said.
Mr Palmer said that the “emotional attachment” to a total ban on whaling was unrealistic.
“There is a great deal of unhappiness in New Zealand about killing whales, and that’s true of other public opinions in many countries,” he said.
“But the truth of the matter is that not all cultures or all nations see that issue the same way, and because of that you have to arrive at an international accommodation under a treaty arrangement.”
Not surprisingly, some groups within New Zealand are not happy about their government’s practical approach to the issue. Australia, which has made the whaling issue into an important issue in its relations with Japan, is also not pleased.
Here’s a clip about New Zealand’s policy position from “Lateline,” an Australian news program:
The report is overflowing with bias against whaling. Gruesome clips of bloody whale bodies being harpooned, dragged onto ships, and cut apart are shown while Palmer tries to explain his position. The emotional attachment that Palmer mentions is quite evident…