New whaling commission resolution - "hardline" document, officials say

Japan and a collection of supporters in the Caribbean and Africa pushed through the resolution by 33 votes to 32 at a meeting of the commission in St. Kitts, defeating opposition led by staunch anti-whaling nations Australia and New Zealand, the AP reports.

The vote left the moratorium intact, but was a symbolic victory for Japan, Norway, Iceland and other nations that want to eventually overturn it.

New Zealand was "very disappointed" with the vote on the declaration, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said Monday, describing it as "a very hardline pro-whaling statement."

There were statements in the declaration which anti-whaling states "would reject as utterly untenable on any factual basis, such as the amount of fish which whales eat being a threat to the fish populations," she said.

Clark said six South Pacific island nations voted with Japan despite four of them telling New Zealand they would not.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team