Australia's new government under fire for not doing enough to protect whales

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The Sea Shepherd Society has slammed how the new government of Australia is responding to Japanese whaling in the Antarctic.

In a news release issued today, the group's Australian chapter pointed out that before the election, the Liberal Party in Australia promised to send a vessel to monitor Japan's annual hunt.

But now, the Tony Abbott–led regime is only going to send aircraft, hoping this will prevent conflict between the Sea Shepherd Society and the whalers.

"The purpose of the customs mission will be to record the incidents on the high seas," Australia's environment minister, Greg Hunt, said.

The Sea Shepherd Society, which was founded by former Vancouver resident Paul Watson, has declared that Abbott and Hunt "have harpooned the Christmas hope that they would keep their word".

This has left the nongovernmental organization with responsibility to uphold a 2008 Australian Federal Court injunction against whaling.

"They are effectively turning a blind eye to the Japanese slaughter because they have been advised that otherwise, they would have to intervene and enforce the federal court injunction against the slaughter," said Sea Shepherd Australia chair Bob Brown.

The Japanese claim that they're allowed to take nearly 1,000 whales as part of "scientific research" activities. 

The Sea Shepherd Society, on the other hand, claims that the annual hunt violates a 27-year-old international ban on whaling.

Australia has filed documents in the International Court of Justice seeking the revocation of Japan's permits, claiming that the annual hunt does not constitute scientific research.

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Teresa Wagner
How on earth can one plane be there 24/7 to see all that goes on? Sounds to me like Australia sold out the whales to Japan.
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BenLong
There are too many ships already, which coupled with irrational agressivnes of SeaShepherd increases chances of collision because that is what SS wants.
Sounds like Australia doesn't want to be bullied by SS pirates.
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RichardC
Why should my taxes be used to support sea shepherd? The Japanese navy should escort the Japanese ships and sink these pirates if they get in the way. Australians and Canadians (and most other nationalities)kill and eat sheep, cows, chickens, fish etc. Why can't the Japanese kill and eat whales?
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Darryl
Good luck Sea Shepherd. Nice to see some people from Vancouver on the ships!! Kick Butt!
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