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New Zealand PM Warns Off Whalers
By Wendy Heller, January 25, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Iol.co.za

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark warned Japanese whaling ships on Friday that surveillance photos of the fleet revealing their location would be published if they entered New Zealand's Antarctic waters. 

Japan's six-ship whaling fleet has been trying to avoid anti-whaling protest ships in the Southern Ocean after protesters stopped whaling operations when two activists boarded a whaling ship and another group stopped a whaling ship refuelling.

The militant Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which boarded the Japanese ship, has threatened to find the whalers and stop them whaling.

Greenpeace, which prevented the fleet's factory ship Nisshin Maru from refuelling, is also searching for the whalers.

New Zealand air force reports the whalers were heading for New Zealand's Antarctic waters, where it has search-and-rescue responsibilities but not sovereignty, prompted Clark to warn-off the Japanese fleet.

"The government's instructions have been that if the Japanese whaling fleet is discovered in the area where New Zealand is patrolling, then we would like photographs and we will release them," Clark told reporters.

"We won't release co-ordinates for obvious safety-related reasons but we will put information out to the world where we see the fleet," she said.

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