Did Turnbull raise the million $ whaling fine with Abe?
Did Prime Minister Turnbull raise the million dollar fine Japanese whalers owe the Australian Federal Court when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe? That is the question Humane Society International (HSI) is asking today after the whalers have again been found killing whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica in contempt of the Australian Federal Court.
HSI secured a ruling from the Australian Federal Court declaring Japan's whaling in Australia's Antarctic territorial waters unlawful. When they ignored the ruling and continued their annual hunts, HSI secured a further ruling that the whaling is in contempt of court and the whalers were ordered to pay a one million dollar fine. The fine remains outstanding.
"It is understood the Prime Minister discussed whaling in private talks with his counterpart, but did he discuss the contempt of court order and the million dollar fine?" asks Nicola Beynon, HSI Australia's Head of Campaigns.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was on the agenda for the two leaders. If the TPP comes to pass, its environment chapter requires signatories to comply with international law to protect wildlife. Australia should insist this includes full compliance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which instated a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled Japan's whaling program in the Southern Ocean unlawful following a case brought by Australia. This exposed Japan's whaling for what it is - commercial whaling in breach of the moratorium.
"It is not good enough for Prime Minister Turnbull to agree to disagree with Prime Minister Abe over whaling. Australia needs to insist both Australian and international court rulings are fully enforced,” said Ms Beynon.
Sea Shepherd located the Japanese whalers yesterday with a minke whale on deck at 64 57.6S - 085 09.6E, within the Australian Whale Sanctuary.
Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Global