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Whale watch stepped up

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Whale watch stepped up

Post by shammy on Fri Feb 08, 2008 9:50 am

8th February, 2008

A SURVEILLANCE operation that has captured images of whales being slaughtered in the Southern Ocean has been extended by the Federal Government.
The Government this week released photos and video footage taken by the crew of the Customs vessel Oceanic Viking, which is gathering evidence for an international legal challenge against Japan's whaling program.

The images showed whales, including a young calf, being harpooned and hauled aboard a whaling ship.

Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said the Oceanic Viking mission, which was originally scheduled to run for 20 days, would be extended for an undisclosed time.

"These photographs show the reality of whaling, the reality of the slaughter of these animals," he said.
"And they will help us to back up the Australian Government's argument in an international court case, the details of which are still being worked out, to suggest that whaling should be stopped."

Amidst worldwide condemnation, Japan yesterday admitted it killed whales of all ages. But the Institute of Cetacean Research claimed the Australian response to the image of the dead calf was "emotional propoganda".

"Our research program requires random sampling of the Antarctic population, and therefore there will be a range of sizes. It is necessary to conduct random sampling of the Antarctic minke population to obtain statistical data," it said in a statement.


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