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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3189

Mr Chapman asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 4 November 1977:

Is the Government giving consideration to the adoption of a policy on conservation of whales similar to the policy reported as having been established by resolution at the recent Federal Council Meeting of the Liberal Party of Australia; if so, when does he anticipate announcing the Government's policy on this matter.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government has consistently followed policies on whaling directed towards the conservation of all whales on a global basis. I understand that at its recent meeting the Federal Council of the Liberal Party of Australia resolved that Australia should support a ten year moratorium on commercial whaling. This overlooks the fact that moratoria on right, Gray and bowhead whales have been in force for over 30 years, on blue whales for 14 years and on humpbacks for 12 years. Selective moratoria have been applied to various other stocks which are not at satisfactory levels and these moratoria will apply for whatever period is necessary to restore the stocks, whether it is 10 years or more. The question of a 10 year moratorium has not been on the International Whaling Commission (IWC) agenda since 1974 as the present management regime overcomes the necessity to introduce a blanket moratorium. The Government's policy is based on the advice of the IWC Scientific Committee which comprises the world's leading whale biologists and population dynamicists. The Scientific Committee does not consider there is any scientific justification for a blanket moratorium in view of the stringent and conservative management measures now adopted by the IWC.

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