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Chilean Senate unanimously condemns Japans whaling operations in Antarctica

Valparaiso, Chile. January 06, 2010 – The Chilean Senate approved unanimously a project of agreement that requests the president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, to express her most energetic protest against the japanese whaling fleet that is currently in the Southern Ocean with the aim to slaughter more than 1,000 whales under alleged “scientific” purposes.

The proponents of the project, senators Jaime Naranjo and Juan Pablo Letelier, additionally requested to the executive branch to coordinate actions with the Latin American countries that are members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), known as Buenos Aires Group, in order to denounce this situation in different international organizations.

The project also agrees for the Chilean Senate to express its most energetic opposition to whaling to their Japanese counterparts.

The project of agreement was adopted after several calls made by Chilean, Latin American and international NGOs demanding their governments to coordinate a diplomatic protest against Japan’s so-called scientific whaling.

Elsa Cabrera, executive director of Centro de Conservacion Cetacea (CCC) said that “we congratulate the Chilean senate for this action and hope that the requests included in the project of agreement will be rapidly implemented by Bachelet government”.

Cabrera recalled that although in 2008 Bachelet promised to oppose the killing of whales for scientific purposes the calls made by thousands of Chilean people and many NGOs since last October have not been attended so far.

Senators Naranjo and Letelier expressed the need for the Chilean government to do everything in its power to stop the actions of the Japanese whaling fleet that is operating in the waters of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary.

Juan Carlos Cardenas, executive director of Centro Ecoceanos added that, “the adoption of this project of agreement is of great importance. Chile and the Latin American countries need to publicly conduct a diplomatic action against whaling operations in the Southern Ocean because the behavior of Japan threatens the negotiation process of the IWC – lead by Chilean ambassador Cristian Maquieira – as well as the future of this organization.

Cabrera and Cardenas concluded, “it is urgently needed that the government attends the call from the Chilean Senate and the people, since the conflicts generated by Japan whaling operations must be effectively address within the IWC and not in the fragile environment of Antarctica”.

Source: CCCEcoceanosChilean Senate