Hervey Bay residents play role in ban on whaling
HERVEY Bay should be proud for helping to end whaling activist Vicki Neville believes.
Mrs Neville is part of the team behind Paddle Out 4 Whales, an annual Hervey Bay event held in protest against whaling.
It grew out of the National Day of Action against Whaling, started by Mrs Neville and her colleagues, in response to the news that Japan would begin hunting humpback whales in the southern oceans.
"We started campaigning in 2006," she said.
"We thought, oh no, that's the whales we watch in Hervey Bay."
Mrs Neville said she believed the annual event and others around Australia that grew out of it helped to put pressure on the Federal Government to begin the international court case against whaling.
After four years, the International Court of Justice handed down its verdict this week, banning Japanese ships from whaling in southern oceans.
"Hervey Bay has got a lot to be proud of," Mrs Neville said.
"We have definitely been leading the campaign to save the whales."
While the whales that migrate through Hervey Bay are now protected, Mrs Neville said the ruling was only the first step in stopping whaling altogether.
"It's hard not to be sceptical," she said.
This year's Paddle Out for Whale event will be celebrating the "historic case", Mrs Neville said.
"We'll be celebrating big time," she said.
The event will be held on July 19.