View Full Version : Greenpeace activists block shipment of Icelandic whale meat

Davie Tait
6th April 2010, 19:18

Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:28

LAST week, Greenpeace activists took action against commercial whaling and the trade in whale meat by blocking a container ship with fin whale meat onboard bound for Japan from Iceland.

The activists chained themselves to the mooring ropes of the container ship NYK ORION docked in Rotterdam, which has meat from 13 endangered fin whales onboard in seven containers. Greenpeace is calling on the authorities to seize the containers and urging the protection of whales at the upcoming meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

Following the protest, Greenpeace claimed that Rottderdamport police have promised that the whale meat shipment en route to Japan from Iceland will remain at the port. The ship's owner has decided to off-load the Fin whale meat rather than become complicit in the trade in an endangered species, the campaigning organisation explained.

The fin whale can grow to 27 meters in length and is the second largest whale, less than 50.000 are estimated to remain in the North Atlantic. The international trade in fin whales and other whales is banned under CITES - the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna and the Netherlands is one of the 175 signatories to this treaty.

In June, governments will gather at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Agadir, Morocco to decide whether Japan’s commercial whaling will continue.

Greenpeace continue: “Iceland’s whale hunt will likely continue beyond this year. The Icelandic government has recently released the findings of a study into whaling’s economic impacts there. Iceland has concluded that there is an economic case for ongoing whaling and that less whales will mean more fish for its commercial fisheries.

“In doing so, the Icelandic government is undermining its credibility as a nation with relatively responsible fisheries management and ignoring the reality that the world has moved beyond whaling. However, the report does recommend reassessing the decision to continue whaling should it have negative impacts on the nation's image. By exposing Iceland’s whale meat trade today in Rotterdam, we hope to change Iceland’s position and end its unnecessary whale hunt.”