21 Jun 2005

Solomons maintains dual position on whaling

3:52 pm on 21 June 2005

The Solomon Islands government has re-stated its position on commercial whaling as the International Whaling Commission is meeting in South Korea.

The prime minister's office says Solomon Islands will abstain from the vote on lifting the 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling.

But it says Solomon Islands will endorse the concept of killing what it calls a reasonable number of whales for scientific purposes.

Australia and New Zealand have asked Pacific countries to oppose whaling while Japan has been lobbying for an end to the moratorium.

The New Zealand conservation minister, Chris Carter, says in his talks in South Korea Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati maintained a pro-whaling stance.

75 percent of IWC members need to vote with Japan for the moratorium to be lifted.