Australian and pro-conservation nations have won an historic vote at the 57th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Ulsan, South Korea, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

“This is a win for whales,” Senator Campbell said.

“It’s also a win for the people of Australia and other like-minded nations, who were determined that the world would not take a step back towards the re-opening of commercial whaling.

“This morning, the world stood at the edge of an abyss. If pro-whaling nations had succeeded, we would have moved back toward the dark ages of commercial whaling.

“Instead, the world moved forward into an era where conservation and the environment are the winners.”

IWC nations voted on Japan’s proposed “Revised Management Scheme”, which, if successful, would have meant the end of two decades of a moratorium on commercial whaling.

The vote for commercial whaling was supported by 23 pro-whaling nations and opposed by 29 proconservation nations, including Australia. Five nations abstained from voting.

“Pro-whaling nations are on the wrong side of history,” said Senator Campbell.

“This is a critical step in our ongoing fight to see commercial whaling relegated to the history books — a fight we will not give up,” Senator Campbell said.