21 December, 2012
Joint statement on whaling and safety at sea:
Governments of Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States call for responsible behaviour at sea during the 2012-2013 Southern Ocean whaling season
The governments of Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States jointly condemn any actions that imperil human life at sea during the 2012-2013 Southern Ocean whaling season.
We reiterate our call to the masters of all vessels involved to ensure that safety of human life at sea is not endangered and international collision avoidance regulations are observed to avoid injury or loss of life among protestors and whaling crew.
We draw their attention to the International Maritime Organization’s 17 May 2010 resolution on assuring safety during demonstrations, protests or confrontations on the high seas, and the International Whaling Commission’s 2011 Resolution on Safety at Sea.
We respect the right to peaceful protest, including on the high seas. We condemn dangerous or unlawful behaviour at sea by any party in the Southern Ocean or elsewhere. We are prepared to deal with unlawful activity in accordance with relevant international and domestic laws.
Our governments remain resolutely opposed to commercial whaling, including so-called ‘scientific’ whaling, in particular in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission. Lethal research techniques are not required for modern whale conservation and management. We will continue to engage on this matter.
Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States are committed to improving the conservation status of whales worldwide, maintaining the International Whaling Commission’s global moratorium on commercial whaling, and implementing meaningful reform of the International Whaling Commission.