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Paul Watson arrest warrant highlights Australian Government whaling inaction

Media Release
Bob Brown 30 Apr 2010

The Australian Greens say a Japanese warrant for the arrest of Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson highlights just how little is being done by the Federal Government to combat whaling in the Southern Ocean.

“The Australian Government are sitting on their hands and doing nothing to pursue legal action against Japan as they promised at the last election,” Australian Greens Marine Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The last whaling season was one of the least productive for many years, but that came at a price.

“Despite repeated calls from the Australian Greens for greater scrutiny by Australia of events in the Southern Ocean, the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil was destroyed by Japanese whaler Shonan Maru 2 endangering the lives of the six crew on board.

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said that the arrest process for Paul Watson was being facilitated by the Rudd Government and the Australian Federal Police raid that was conducted on Sea Shepherd ships in Hobart last month.

Meantime Senator Brown’s request for information on that police process in Australia has been frustrated.

“The warrant should not be for Paul Watson, but for the Captain of the Shonan Maru 2 who ran down Captain Pete Bethune’s ship, the Ady Gil, nearly killing 6 crew members,” said Senator Brown.

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should explain whether he intends to pursue action against the Japanese whaling fleet over that incident.”

Senator Brown made his comments from Taiwan, where he joins other regional leaders at the Asia Pacific Greens Climate Forum this weekend to discuss how to move forward from the failed United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen.

Senator Brown will address the conference with Prime Minister of Tuvalu Mr Apisai Ielemia and Indian environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva.

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