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SHIMONOSEKI, Japan (May 20, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Australian Environment Minister Dr. David Kemp has called on members of the International Whaling Commission meeting in Japan to support the establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.

Kemp is lobbying for the commission to ratify the sanctuary, which would stretch from the equator to the existing Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean sanctuaries.

He said if the sanctuary is not ratified there will still be huge areas where whales are unprotected.

Other whale sanctuaries already have been declared or are in the process of being established by the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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