This morning NAUTICAL LOG was extremely annoyed to read the report from Hobart, Tasmania that the international negotiations aimed at creating a Marine Reserve in the Antarctic was unsuccessful - the debate was heated.
The reason it was unsuccessful is that delegates from Russia, China and Ukraine resisted the efforts by the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The United States and New Zealand had proposed creating a 500,000 square mile Ocean Marine Reserve in the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea.
It must be admitted however that while Australia, France and the European Union championed the creation of a Reserve none of these Nations make any serious attempt to send patrol vessels into the area when the whaling fleet and fishing fleets encroach the region fishing to excess.
In the recent seasonal clashes between the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) the Australian Government declined to send a patrol vessel from either its Navy or Customs to control the situation.
While one would agree that the policy of the SSCS in protecting the whales is to be admired, their strategy of violent intervention is to be abhorred. It violates International Maritime Law by Acts of Piracy as laid down in UNCLOS. In fairness however what else are they going to do to try to prevent the slaughter of whales. Beyond giving SSCS a base at Williamstown, Victoria the Australian Government seems afraid to face down the Japanese either at sea or in Court.
So it was all talk and no action - once again - no Marine Reserve was created.