Conservation Minister Chris Carter, an outspoken whaling opponent, says New Zealand helped "because that is the Kiwi way" but he could equally have said that it is the way of decent people everywhere.It's always heartening to see level-headed opinion like this example coming out of the New Zealand media.
... it is also right not to provide the whaling fleet's location to others. In particular, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is showing a fanatical zeal in its efforts to prevent whales being killed.
New Zealand's case would not be strengthened by showing these campaigners where to harass the whalers and put their own and Japanese lives in danger.
Apparently, helping conservationists oppose illegal whaling is not the Kiwi way.People sailing unregistered vessels fitted with "hydraulic can opener" weaponry and issuing threats of ramming other vessels on the high seas will always struggle to find support from civilized governments, even if they try to claim the noble cause of conservation as their objective. Sea Shepherd's true goal is not conservation, but individual whale protection. The conservation of biodiversity on the other hand is a goal which is mutually compatible with sustainable use. And even the New Zealand government recognises that Japan's activity is not "illegal".
... after nearly five weeks in polar waters, the hardline activists of Sea Shepherd are set to leave the Antarctic without having found their quarry, and now are pleading with Australia to let their "pirate" ships land here.No more Sea Shepherd for this season, and I'd not be surprised if this is the last we ever see of them in the Antarctic. They've simply taken things too far with their threats of violence.
... with fuel running low and claims that the Japanese have used satellites to spy on them, Sea Shepherd are in trouble with shipping authorities
Captain Watson said the New Zealand Government had told him that as an unflagged vessel, the Farley Mowat would be arrested if it arrived there. He is asking for a guarantee that the ships and their crews will not be arrested if they come to Melbourne.
Captain Watson said he was convinced the whalers were using commercially available satellite surveillance data to track and avoid the Sea Shepherd vessels.
But a spokesman for Tokyo's Institute of Cetacean Research, Glenn Inwood, blamed Sea Shepherd's problems on poor seamanship....
[Watson] said it was interesting that New Zealand would help a sick whaler but banned an anti-whaling ship, even when it carried New Zealand citizens. "The authorities said we would be arrested and detained if we attempt to enter a New Zealand port." He said a meeting today between NZ customs and Maritime New Zealand would decide Sea Shepherd's fate.
In Canberra, the Transport Department confirmed it was having discussions about the Robert Hunter.
"They are canvassing options," a department spokesman said. "At this stage it is not an application."
Captain Watson said the case was also being considered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Greenpeace's Dutch-registered ship, Esperanza, was yesterday picking its way through the Antarctic sea ice, and spokeswoman Sara Holden said they were still confident they would find the whalers within days.That's it for this week.
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