Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tokelau shames us again

Tokelau has declared its exclusive economic zone to be a whale sanctuary. This brings the number of whale sanctuaries in the South Pacific to eleven, covering most of the area's ocean:


(Key: Green = whale sanctuary, blue = whales protected, but no explicit sanctuary. List of countries from here; map based on this)

Not a lot of space for the Japanese to murder whales there, is there?

Interestingly, MFAT is getting grumpy about this. Tokelau is an NZ dependency, and MFAT seems to think the move should have been discussed with them. But this is essentially an internal matter of fisheries regulation, something Tokelau has power over, rather than one of foreign policy. And in any case, it would be wrong of MFAT to overturn the decisions of Tokelau's democratically elected government, just as it would be wrong for our foreign monarch to veto those of our elected Parliament.