After 77 days of peaceful protest, our Whale Embassy has moved from the site of a proposed whale meat factory in Ulsan to Seoul. Although our activists are leaving Korea after the international whaling meeting, we will still be keeping an eye on the Ulsan site. We left a huge black whale tail on the site, reading "Korea - country of whale conservation?".
The Whale Embassy in Ulsan, South Korea.
Recent reports in the Korean national press claimed that the
SouthKorean Government had scrapped plans to build the whale meat
factory;however Ulsan City Council recently made statements
refuting this,claiming that the factory will be going ahead.
If the South Korean Government goes ahead with building the
factory, wewill tell this story to the world and will do everything
that we can tostop this internationally condemned plan. The Whale
Embassy will now berun by our partners, the Korean Federation for
Environment Movement(KFEM) in Seoul.
The South Korean Government makes huge claims about wanting to
protecttheir remaining whales, yet do nothing about the trade in
whale meat.KFEM's director Choi Ye-yong said, "How can you reduce
bycatch bybuilding a factory to process the carcasses? It is as
ridiculous asbuilding a factory to process the tusks of
'accidentally' caughtelephants, then paying the people who
'accidentally' caughtthem." DNA research has recently found that
there aresignificantly more whales being found in the marketplace
than could beaccounted for by the "accidental" bycatch. During the
period from June19 to June 23 alone, five juvenile minke whales
were caught"accidentally" off the coast of Korea - right in time
for Ulsan's whalefestival.
On April 7, the Whale Embassy was built to highlight the threats
facingKorea's few remaining whales. Since then tens of thousands of
peoplehave lent their support to the campaign and the activists
from 20countries that staffed the embassy over the 77 days of
peacefulprotest, highlighted by over 50,000 people participating in
our VirtualMarch held during the International Whaling Commission meeting
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