A shipment of 130 tonnes of fin whale meat from whales killed four years ago has been sent back to Iceland and got unloaded in Reykjavik today.
When I was in an inflatable in Hamburg harbor on July 8, taking media calls and talking to police as my colleagues occupied the mooring lines of the Eilbek to stop it loading containers of Icelandic fin whale meat for shipment to Japan, there were lots of things going through my mind, but it never occurred to me that today - just 2 weeks later - those same containers would be back to where they came from.
The two shipping companies involved agreed that they would stop carrying whale meat and return the cargo to Iceland, and they have kept their word. Since this hunt is only for export, and there is no way to export, it would seem the end of the hunt is at hand.
But the single wealthy businessman, Kristjan Loftsson, who owns the entire whaling operation doesn't agree. He was quoted on the front page of Iceland's biggest paper, of Morgunbladid, today saying "This is not the end of the world for us," and that despite the collapsing market for whale meat he would find a way to send the meat to Japan or Norway. Much of the coverage in Iceland disagrees and questions the wisdom of continuing whaling with no way to get the dead whales to market.
All I know is that the whalers are still killing fin whales and the meat from whales killed last week is piling up in freezers next to the meat of whales killed four years ago. Together with my colleagues I'll keep working to ensure that there are no more shipments until the one man still preying on the fin whales puts down his harpoon for good.
Dr. Iris Menn is an Oceans & Biodiversity Campaigner at Greenpeace Germany