Europe: Whale Enemy No.1
Conservationists outraged by escalation of whaling and whale meat trade by European countries
As the 61st Annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting comes to an end the European whaling nations continue to provoke the international community with an increase of whaling quotas and attempts to grant export permits for whale meat to Japan.
In response WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, calls “Europe: Whale Enemy No.1” and launches its campaign to request immediate action taken by the US government as well as the Member States of the European Union.
Iceland: The Hvalur whaling comapany has begun hunting of up to 150 endangered fin whales i in the North Atlantic for commercial purposes. This, together with 100 minke whales, is the highest self allocated whaling quota by Iceland since the moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented in 1986. With almost no domestic market for such huge amounts of whale meat in Iceland, the fin whaling company, Hvalur hf, has announced that the meat from all 150 fin whales (amounting to some 6000 tones of meat) will be sold to Japan by one company. Previously this company has sold 80 tonnes to Japan.
Norway: Facing the same situation of a decreasing market demand for whale products, WDCS just found out that Norway, whic set out to hunt up to 885 minke whales for commercial purposes this year, has granted two export permits for almost 50 tons of whale meat and blubber to be exported to Japan. However, demand for whale meat in Norway has proved so poor that the Norwegain whalers called off their own hunt, calling it the worst year for sales in the last 15 years. Initial reports suggest that about 360 -370 whales will be taken in this year’s hunt and the hunt will end up with about 60 or 70 animals less than last year.
Denmark: In a parallel development, Denmark has pushed forward with its request the killing of 50 humpback whales off the western shores of Greenland, during a period of 5 years. This is in addition to more than 230 large whales that get killed under an “aboriginal subsistence whaling” quota in Greenland every year as well as around 4000 small whales. Humpback whales have not been commercially hunted for decades. Although Denmark says Greenland needs the meat to feed its people, the fact is that Greenland has a yearly surplus of whale meet, which is being stockpiled and sold in supermarkets.
“Europe likes to point the finger to Japan as a rogue whaling nation, and rightly so. However, off its very own shores Europeans are not much better and whales are being killed in increasing numbers as well,” says Kate O’Connell, campaigner at WDCS. She continues, “In fact, Europe has become the whale enemy No 1.”
WDCS has launched an online campaign to make the public aware of the increasing whale hunts taking place in European waters and to call on their governments to take action. WDCS is seeking for support from you to provide our online-banner on your website, helping to spread the message. To receive the banner in the appropriate format/size, please contact: Roman.firstname.lastname@example.org