16 Jun 2010

Island states must be united on whaling stand, says conservationist

9:23 pm on 16 June 2010

A Pacific conservationist says Island states need to unite at next week's International Whaling Commission convention in Morroco to protect their whale sanctuaries from Japan.

Conservation International Pacific's Sue Taei is heading to Morocco from Samoa for the IWC meeting which will vote on whether to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling.

She says many Pacific nations have declared whale sanctuaries in their exclusive economic zones and these now constitute an area of more than 18 million square kilometres.

Sue Taei says some nations, like Palau, have already come out against lifting the moratorium and its hoped other IWC members, like Nauru, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands follow.

"So there are six parties that are members of the IWC from the Pacific Island states. But equally there are just as many, actually more, that are not party to the IWC, that are very, very strong whale conservation states, including Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, PNG, Cook Islands, Niue."

Sue Taei from Conservation International Pacific.