, SYDNEY, Feb 25 – Australia Thursday called for an end to so-called "scientific whaling" and for harpooning in the Southern Ocean to be phased out over five years, Environment Minister Peter Garrett said.
The move follows tense diplomatic talks about whaling prompted by an Australian threat to take Japan to court if it refuses to stop its controversial annual hunt.
The latest demands, outlined in a proposal that has been forwarded to the International Whaling Commission, was aimed at breaking the gridlock that had "beset talks for decades", Garrett said.
"While the government acknowledges the efforts made by participants in these discussions, the approach now under discussion in the commission falls well short of any outcome that Australia could accept," he said.
"That is why we have now brought forward this new proposal to advance true conservation objectives; and specifically to bring about an end to commercial and so-called scientific whaling right around the world."