Thursday, December 22, 2005
The Australian govenment has dismissed calls by environmental group, Greenpeace, to delay or halt a Japanese whaling ship that is due to dock in the island state of Tasmania over the weekend.
Japanese whaling ship, Nisshin-MaruThe Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin-Maru is heading for the Tasmanian capital, Hobart, with a crewman onboard suffering from appendicitis. Our reporter, Clinton Porteous, says Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell has granted the ship access to Australian ports so the man can receive emergency medical treatment. Greenpeace says after the man is admitted to hospital the government should delay the ship so it cannot return to the Southern Ocean and continue whaling. Senator Campbell has ruled that out. "I think any sort of activity or any sort of suggestion that ship will be interfered with in anyway when it gets to any Australian port would jeopardise that man's life," he said. Five Japanese ships are hunting whales off the coast of Antarctica.