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Conservation of Whales in the 21st Century

Conservation of Whales in the 21st Century

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Published by Mariko
This is a summary of the New Zealand government’s policy on whales and whaling. Published 2004.
This is a summary of the New Zealand government’s policy on whales and whaling. Published 2004.

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Published by: Mariko on Feb 16, 2011
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01/14/2013

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The Conservation of  Whales in the 21st Centur
 
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Bryan Williams, DOC
Thanks to all the photographers who generously contributed their images.
 
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Hon Chris Carter Minister of Conservation
FOREWORD FROM THE MINISTER OF CONSERVATION
This publication is being issued as a challenge to all of us who are concerned about whale conservation. It draws on New Zealand’s own experience. We were once a whaling country, like many others, and New Zealand whalers hunted the humpback and southern right whales whose migratory path brought them close to our shores.But we have moved on from that past. Nowadays living whales are a source of tourism,and the whale-watching attraction at Kaikoura is proving hugely successful. Whales have been mercilessly exploited in the past and driven to the brink of extinction. They are now a symbol for the way we want to live on our planet in thefuture. Are they just another exploitable resource, to be killed even though we don’tneed them for food or oil? Or are they to be respected as great and unique species with which we can share our global environment?In New Zealand, as in many countries, there is overwhelming public opposition tokilling whales. This passionate concern is reflected in the positions taken by the New Zealand Government internationally, including in the International WhalingCommission (IWC). We are arguing, consistently and with all our strength, against any form of commercial or scientific whaling. We and other countries that oppose whaling have had some successes, but alsodisappointments and frustrations. The 1946 International Convention for theRegulation of Whaling (ICRW) is outmoded, and the decision-making processes of theIWC itself are out of step with more modern environmental instruments. The IWCrepresents a limited group of countries, which are deeply divided between those whoare strongly for or against whaling.The challenge for IWC members is to adapt to the new values of the 21st century.Unless we do so, then it is likely that even more whales will be killed in the future.Some whaling countries are planning to significantly increase their take, under thepretext of scientific whaling. If the pro-whalers are able to induce enough countriesto join the IWC on their side, it is possible that they will be able to overturn thepresent moratorium and allow the commercial killing of whales to resume.New Zealand will continue to stand firm against further whaling. But this is not acause that can be left to a few committed countries. If others wish to see the whalesprotected they need to act now. More conservationist countries should join the IWC.Nor should this be left to governments alone. NGOs and civil society are already engaged and they have a vital role to play in increasing international awareness of thisthreat.If we fail to act effectively, then the slaughter of whales will continue and increase.Looking back, we are ashamed of the all-out butchery of whales that occurred in our past. It is now up to us to redeem ourselves in the eyes of future generations. Now isthe time to show that we can learn from our mistakes, and ensure that whales arepreserved as a taonga – a heritage – for our children and grandchildren.I hope that this publication will help encourage a fresh debate about the future of  whale conservation in the 21st century.Chris Carter 
MINISTER OF CONSERVATION

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Japanese Government officials said that they have temporarily suspended their whaling activity due to harassment from conservation groups.

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