By Tanya Plibersek

14 October 2022

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water

The Hon Josh Wilson MP, Member for Fremantle

 Australia steps up support for ocean mammals


The Albanese Labor Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the protection and conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises as it works towards its ambitious goal of zero extinctions.

At the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Slovenia this week Australia’s Whales Commissioner Dr Nick Gales nominated as Vice Chair of the Commission for the next 2 years. 

This nomination will ensure that Australia play a bigger role in tackling the global challenges these species face, such as climate change and marine plastic litter. 

On the global stage Australia remains a leader in whale conservation. All whales, dolphins and porpoises are protected in our waters and the Australia Government remains firmly opposed to commercial whaling. 

The Australian Government is leading internationally to protect ocean health with strong emissions reduction legislation targeting net zero by 2050 and marine parks which cover and protect 45 per cent of our waters.

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek will be represented at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission by Federal Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson MP. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek:

“Each migration season Australia’s coastline turns in to a highway for whales. It is important we keep these routes safe and free of pollution. 

“We are advocating and protecting species and their habitats both at home in our waters and globally including through our leadership in the International Whaling Commission.

“This will be further supported by the Australian Government’s pledge to protect 30 per cent of our land and 30 per cent of our ocean by 2030 as we move towards zero extinctions.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson: 

“The global conservation and protection of whales has been a notable example of effective international regulation in the cause of our shared environment, and Australia has played a significant leadership role in that effort. 

“We have seen recovery in the populations of threatened species due to the international conventions and regulations that Australia helped put in place. But there are significant risks - like plastic litter and fisheries bycatch - that require Australia’s continued focus and international collaboration. 

“Australia’s nomination of Dr Nick Gales - a globally recognised scientific expert - is testament to that focus, and demonstrates the Albanese Government’s commitment to environmental conservation through active and cooperative participation in organisations like the International Whaling Commission.”