Saturday 26 December 2015

Most Australians want customs ship to monitor Japanese whaling, poll finds

Roy Morgan poll finds 76.9% of 1,002 people – including Coalition voters – want the federal government to ‘send a ship to oppose the whaling’

Wednesday 23 December 2015 02.05 GMT
Last modified on Wednesday 23 December 201502.22 GMT

Australians overwhelmingly support calls for the federal government to send a customs ship to monitor Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, a poll commissioned by the anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd indicates.

The Coalition has previously been accused of backing away from a pre-election commitment to tackle whaling in the Southern Ocean, after refusing to send a specialist customs patrol vessel and instead sending aircraft to monitor the whaling, which Japan claims is for scientific purposes.

Of the 1,002 people questioned by SMS, by the polling company Roy Morgan, 76.9% said they wanted the government to “send a ship to oppose the whaling by Japan”.

A majority of Greens, Labor and Coalition voters were in favour of sending a ship. About a third ofCoalition voters opposed the proposal.

The Greens senator Nick McKim said the Coalition was backing away from the monitoring commitment made in opposition and the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had refused to express anything stronger than “disappointment” about whaling on his recent visit to Japan.

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