Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Whale supporter, 12, makes plea to politicians

Isaac Scott
Isaac Scott

A 12-year-old boy has made an impassioned plea to politicians to do more to stop whaling by the Japanese in the Southern Ocean.

Upper Hutt school boy Isaac Scott has collected more than 5000 signatures on a petition urging the Government to take a tougher stance against the practice.

Today Isaac, supported by his mother Trudi, read a submission to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at Parliament.

He asked the Government send ships to the Southern Oceans to protect the whale sanctuary.

He started his speech by describing in graphic detail the process whalers took when they killed the mammals, which were usually mothers and their calves.

"The whalers get as close to the mother as possible and they fire their explosive harpoon into the mother's nerve-filled skin and body."

It would often take 25 minutes for the whale to die, Isaac said.

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Every year Japan entered the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary to kill minke whales, fin whales and humpback whales.

"This under the establishment of the sanctuary is illegal, but because Japan is a powerful and rich nation it uses its influence on less fortunate nations," he said.

Whale tourism generated $2.1 billion per year worldwide, which New Zealand could not afford to miss out on, he said.

New Zealand should take an active role in protecting whales, not just for his generation, but for future ones as well, he said.

"I'm here today, not only on my behalf, but as a voice for the whales."

Labour MP David Shearer asked Isaac what motivated him to come to Parliament to present his speech.

"Whales are beautiful to me and when I learnt that the Japanese were whaling in the Southern Ocean, I decided to do something about it."

He planned to be a marine biologist, he said.

The committee members thanked Isaac for his submission.

After the meeting, Isaac said he thought it went "pretty well".

"I was pretty nervous when I was reading it out, I thought something would go wrong, but it didn't."

He maintained more needed to be done to stop the practice of whaling.

"It needs to be stopped because...I don't know what life will be without them."

- APNZ

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