Thursday, January 24, 2008
SHOULD THE NEW ZEALAND NAVY BE SENT TO ESCORT JAPANESE WHALERS FROM NEW ZEALAND WATERS IN THE ANTARCTIC ROSS SEA - SEND A FRIGATE WITH GUNS READY TO BLAZE PERHAPS...
A New Zealand Orion patrol aircraft spotted the Japanese whaling fleet heading for the Antarctic Ross sea, heightening concerns the Japanese will begin hunting in New Zealand's Antarctic territory.
The aircraft was on a routine surveillance of fishing activity in the Southern Ocean. Until previously the Japanese whaling fleet had confined its activities to Australian territorial waters. An Australian Federal court ruling last week declared the Japanese fleets activities as being illegal.
The New Zealand conservation Minister has said the New Zealand Government was concerned about the whaling fleets movements, particularly because NZ is responsible for search and rescue operations in the Ross Sea.
The Minister, Ms Steve Chadwick, said we are concerned for the risk to human life and the Antarctic's pristine environment if the Japanese fleet encounter's problems there. Just last year there was a fire aboard the factory ship, NISHIN MARU, stranding it in the Ross Sea. One crew member was killed and the stricken ship containing hundreds of tonnes of heavy fuel oil, posted a genuine environmental risk.
This poses a real question: Considering the Japanese fleet is illegally entering New Zealand Antarctic waters, should a New Zealand naval frigate be sent to escort the fleet from NZ waters?