WELLINGTON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand joins other 11 countries that delivered a formal diplomatic protest to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry in Oslo Thursday over Norway's plans to increase its whaling activities, said Conservation Minister Carter Friday.
"New Zealand is concerned that the Norwegian government has increased its quota to 1,052 minke whales for 2006, the highest whale take by Norway for two decades," said Carter.
He said the countries are also very concerned about Norway's announcement that it is considering taking whales from international waters.
Although a global ban on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986, Norway entered a formal objection to the ban and resumed whaling in 1993, said a government press release.
It said that since then "Norway has ignored repeated calls to respect the moratorium and stop its commercial whaling operations."
The protest, or demarche, restated in the strongest possible terms the opposition of New Zealand and the 11 other participating countries to Norway's whaling activities, and called on Norway to abandon its whaling plans.
The other nations involved include the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.
"We will continue to pursue these efforts vigorously. I will be attending the International Whaling Commission meeting in St. Kitts and Nevis in June and we will be doing all we practically can to preserve the moratorium on commercial whaling," Carter said. Enditem