THE AUSTRALIAN Greens have called on the Government to initiate immediate legal action against Japanese whaling in Antarctica, after a report by the Canberra Panel was released this week.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare convened the group of Antarctic law and policy experts, who recommended the Australian Government challenge Japan's whaling program through the Antarctic Treaty System.
Under the Environmental Protocol to the treaty, Japan can be called upon to justify that its whaling activities do not have an adverse impact on the Antarctic environment.
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia, said the treaty was designed to protect the environment, with all countries agreeing to a set of strict guidelines and requirements.
"As this report shows, Japanese whaling vessels violate these agreements by operating sub-standard vessels, re-fuelling at sea and other operations that potentially harm the environment," she said.
"The Australian public does not want to sit by and watch the slaughter of a species, nor do they want to accept that the pristine environment of Antarctica is damaged through arrogance and carelessness."
The next Antarctic Treaty meeting is to be held in the United States in April.
- Sarah Sharples