22 Jun 2010

Labour opposes compromise on whaling

7:25 pm on 22 June 2010

The Labour Party says the Government has given up its principles on whaling.

International Whaling Commission (IWC) delegates meeting at crucial talks in Morocco have gone into closed sessions as countries seek a compromise deal to bring all whaling under the commission's control.

At the talks, the Government is pushing for a quota system to allow the phase out whaling in Antarctic waters over a number of years.

Labour leader Phil Goff says New Zealand should be setting its values and principles and holding to a position of no whaling, rather than advocating a quota.

Mr Goff says he does not believe whaling is still commercially viable for Japan to carry out.

Conservation groups split

A split has developed among conservation groups about New Zealand's approach to the international whaling talks.

Greenpeace New Zealand maintains compromise talks going on behind closed doors have potential, but other groups are accusing it of selling out whales.

An international spokesperson for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society says there should be no compromise on ending commercial whaling.

Senior lecturer in maritime law at Victoria University, Joanna Mossop, told Checkpoint at the moment, unfortunately, there is nothing in the IWC regulations that would allow for any other state to stop Japan from undertaking its scientific whaling.