Julie Bishop, Friday 06 July 2012
I have contacted the South Korean Ambassador to Australia His Excellency Mr Taeyong Cho regarding his Government’s announcement of a potential resumption of whaling, and expressed our disappointment and disagreement with the decision.
This is a matter of significance and sensitivity to Australians and we respectfully urge the South Korean government to reconsider this course of action. The South Korean government appears to be taking advantage of the loophole in the international ban on commercial whaling that allows the killing of whales for research.
It is important for any nation seeking to undertake research into whales to clearly articulate the nature of that research and why it cannot be undertaken through non-lethal means. A failure to explain the necessity for the killing of whales will lead Australia and other nations to the conclusion that it is commercial whaling disguised as research.
South Korea agreed in 1986 to abide by the terms of the international ban on commercial whaling and the Coalition urges that this ban continued to be respected by all nations.