South Korean Government changes stance on whaling

SOUTH Korea will ditch its lethal so-called "scientific" whaling program.

International Whaling Commission executive secretary Simon Brockington said the Korean Government had changed its position and would, instead, undertake research using non-lethal methods.

Mr Brockington said, in a circular communication issued this week, that the republic's initial plan in 2012 had been to conduct whaling for scientific research on minke whales off the Korean peninsula.

Environment Minister Tony Burke said he was pleased South Korea had carefully considered its approach.

"The oceans can only be properly cared for if every nation plays its part,'' Mr Burke said.

"This decision shows that Korea is willing to be a responsible custodian of the oceans and is willing to respect the moratorium on commercial whaling.

"It contains some very strong lessons and messages for Japan.

"Australia is more than happy to share our techniques and approaches to non-lethal cetacean research to help Korea answer their key management and conservation priorities."

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said Australia was known for its firm position on whaling and there was "no reason to kill whales in the name of science".

"That's why we are taking action in the International Court of Justice to stop so called 'scientific' whaling once and for all," she said.

The International Court of Justice will soon set the case down for oral hearing in The Hague, likely in the latter half of 2013.

Topics:  south korea whaling

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