SUTHERLAND Shire Council has voted to "adopt" a whale and Mayor David Redmond will write to Mayor Yoshihide Yada of the shire's sister city Chuo, Japan, to restate the council's objections to whaling.
The council became the 53rd local government area to join the Humpback Icon Project at its Monday meeting, going beyond an initial staff recommendation to simply sign up to the project.
The idea is for the council to officially "adopt" an identified humpback whale that can then be named by the community and spotted on its annual migrations.
Waverley, Randwick, Woollahra, Leichhardt, Pittwater, Manly and Mosman councils all have their own whale as part of the project already.
As part of its decision on Monday the council will erect a sign at Kurnell when the whale is named. Project director Rachel Kathriner praised the council's decision and said there was strength in numbers.
"It's very important that coastal councils, particularly councils with sister cities in Japan, show their opposition to whaling," she said.
"This project raises awareness, links the community and council and personalises the issue. "The more councils that come on board the stronger the statement that is made against whaling."
The council's environment committee had initially asked council staff for more information before making a decision on the recommendation to join the project.
Concerns were raised that participation might offend Chuo. Councillors were also worried about the potential for any "shire whale" to eventually end up on the chopping block at Tsujiki fish markets in Chuo, the world's largest, if Japan resumed humpback whaling.
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Media Man Australia
Environmentalists and the environment