Special envoy for whale conservation

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has confirmed Australia has appointed an ambassador for whale conservation in an effort to bring an end to commercial and so-called ”scientific” whaling.

Former diplomat Sandy Hollway, who was appointed to the position, has held discussions with officials in Japan and the United States, he said.

Mr Hollway’s appointment will ”deepen our dialogue with leaders in Japan and other countries ahead of the southern summer,” Mr Garrett said in a statement.

Mr Garrett said he was optimistic progress could be made ahead of Japan’s five-month whaling season in the Southern Ocean, which commences in December.

He said the Government refused to rule out future international legal action against Japan, which he said uses a loophole in International Whaling Commission (IWC) regulations to conduct whaling under the guise of scientific research.

Mr Hollway’s appointment follows Australia’s recent proposal at the IWC to shift the body’s focus to whale conservation.

”Australia continues to work in cooperation with other countries to build a new global consensus on whale conservation,” Mr Garrett said.

He said Australia will host an international workshop early next year to establish a ”non-lethal whale research partnership for the Southern Ocean.”

”This partnership will be open to all nations and will direct research on internationally agreed priorities and demonstrate once again that all essential whale research can be performed without killing a single whale,” Mr Garrett added.

Source: ABC News