No way: Tweed whale-watching businesses say the idea of a levy on them to pay whaling nations to stop would not work.
No way: Tweed whale-watching businesses say the idea of a levy on them to pay whaling nations to stop would not work.

Whale levy plan 'won't work'

A SUGGESTION that the Australian whale watching industry be charged a levy to compensate whaling nations for ending their hunts has raised some eyebrows in the Tweed.

Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Clevo Wilson yesterday said one possible solution to ending whaling would be a levy on the Australian whale watching industry to compensate for job and financial losses in whaling nations.

“Traditional communities in whaling countries fear that their livelihoods and their way of life would disappear if they were to stop killing whales,” Prof Wilson said.

But whale watching business Watersports Guru director Tim Jack Adams said it would not work.

“I don't think a levy on the Australian whale watching industry would make enough of a difference. I don't think it would be enough,” he said.

“I don't think financial gain is the reason places like Japan are doing whaling. It's more about research for them.

“Money is already better off going to educating the world about the truth behind whaling.”

Coolangatta Whale Watching co-owner Tony Hunt said the levy suggestion was odd. “It's a bizarre thought. We shouldn't bail them out for doing the wrong thing,” he said.

“A levy would not work, not at all. It's like giving aid to another country for something they shouldn't be doing in the first place.

“I don't think it would even stop; some aren't whaling for financial gain.”

Mr Hunt also said education was the best path to proceed on.

“There is not enough information out there for what's actually going on,” he said. “I think it's more about education to the world than bailing out a bad practice.”

Prof Wilson also said threatening to take the Japanese to the World Court was a weak plan, doomed to fail, given whales were a mobile resource that didn't belong to any one country.



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