Dr. Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker, today criticised the UK government for 'bowing to Japan's economic muscle', in refusing to register various ships belonging to the anti-whaling and conservation group Sea Shepherd.
Dr. Wall said: "The Green Party has learnt that in December of last year, whilst Sea Shepherd were seeking to register the ship Farlay Mowat with the UK, Japan contacted our Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who in turn spoke with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, seeking to prevent the ship taking the UK flag.
"As a result, the ships application was rejected.
"Whatever the merits of the situation, the MCA should be acting independently.
"Despite the international ban on commercial whale hunting, Japanese crews are on a mission to kill about 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales, claiming this is for scientific research.
"But this is simply a tactic to circumvent the regulations, and amounts to commercial whaling in all but name. Operation Leviathan, from Sea-Shepherd, seeks to stop the Japanese whaling fleets’ illegal slaughter.
"Whaling is a premeditated, deliberate and unnecessary cause of animal suffering. It is not justified even if supposedly undertaken as 'scientific research' or 'subsistence hunting' rather than for commercial profit.
The Green Party condemns those governments who seek, through the International Whaling Commission and otherwise, to continue whaling. We call on all governments to outlaw whaling. The Green Party is fundamentally opposed to all lethal and harmful commercial utilisation of cetaceans. This includes all whaling, so called scientific whaling and any whaling conducted under the cover-all of 'aboriginal subsistence whaling.
Dr. Wall continued: "The Green Party opposes any move to end the current moratorium on commercial whaling. We call on all nations to declare the waters under their control havens from whaling, to provide sanctuary throughout those waters for cetaceans, and to co- operate in achieving global sanctuary for cetaceans in the longer term.
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