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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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Big win for Australia at International Whaling Commission

Published: Friday, 28 October 2016

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Australia has recorded a big win at the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia with the adoption of two Australian-led resolutions that will put greater pressure on Japan to end its so-called ‘scientific’ whaling and reform the Commission into a more effective organisation.



The first resolution ensures so-called ‘scientific’ whaling will be subjected to greater international scrutiny. Until now, the Commission had delegated the review of scientific whaling to its Scientific Committee, with little in-depth consideration by the Commission.



In introducing this resolution, I stressed that the Commission needed to engage more robustly in discussions on scientific whaling, form its own views and provide direction.



Importantly, the resolution also ensures the Commission takes account of the landmark ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic case.



The second resolution, called for an independent review of the Commission to improve its transparency and accountability, and bring it into line with best practice for multilateral treaty bodies.



Given the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is in its 70th year – it was important to ensure the Commission keeps pace with the times. This resolution was co-sponsored by Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States of America, and received unanimous support with Australia providing $200,000 to support the review.



These resolutions are a notable achievement for Australia and our co-sponsors. They help the Commission continue to evolve in response to changing times and pressures, and to take another step away from whaling towards global cetacean conservation.



This year, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the global moratorium on commercial whaling. The moratorium must remain in place.



As a demonstration of Australia’s continuing leadership in cetacean conservation, I also announced that Australia has provided an additional $1.5 million to the Commission’s Southern Ocean Research Partnership. The Partnership has repeatedly demonstrated that whales do not need to be killed in order to study them.



The Government is committed to protecting whales and other cetaceans and resolutely opposed to all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling.  The message is clear, you don’t need to kill whales to study them.



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