Iceland has announced it will recommence whaling in 2003.
The Rainbow Warrior will embark on a tour round the North
Atlantic island to engage in dialogue with the people of Iceland,
and to support existing local opposition from communities reliant
on the tourism generated by whale watching. We are asking
cyberactivists everywhere to e-mail
the government and to
pledge their willingness to spend vacation time in Iceland if
whaling is not recommenced, and to invite
their friends along with an e-card.
We need to let Iceland's leaders know the strength of
international feeling on this issue. If international reaction is
short lived the government will proceed with its plan, paving the
way for a resumption of full scale commercial whaling for export in
At a press conference onboard the Rainbow Warrior spokesperson
Frode Pleym made an offer to the Icelandic government:
"Greenpeace will be the link between people around the world and
the people of Iceland who want to protect this island's natural
resources. We will encourage our supporters and the general public
to actively choose Iceland and nature based tourism in the future.
We offer to work with the people of Iceland towards a
future-oriented ecological society."
In return Greenpeace is urging the Icelandic Government to stop
the current whale hunt of 38 minke whales; publicly agree that so
called "scientific whaling" will not be resumed under any guise;
and withdraw Iceland's reservation to the international ban on
Pleym made the point that "The Icelandic Government's attempt to
justify whaling 'on scientific grounds' is economic suicide. Whale
watching is now the heart of an even larger nature tourism industry
that is exceeded in economic importance only by Iceland's fish
based industries. Already we see tourists cancelling trips to
Iceland due to the whale hunt."
The advantages to Iceland of developing a whale meat and blubber
industry remain unclear: the domestic market is very small and the
only potential export market is Japan, where the issue remains
highly controversial. Iceland's growing whale watching industry is
already far more lucrative than whaling could ever become and a
responsible government should be doing all it can to protect all
cetaceans in its seas.
"There are no legitimate reasons for the Icelandic Government to
hunt whales." said Frode Pleym. "The argument that it is necessary
to control the minke whale population to safeguard cod stocks is
pseudo science, and used by the Government simply to influence
public opinion. They're holding their people hostage to an
unsustainable tradition. Whaling is part of Iceland's past and
Iceland's future can only be undermined by a renewed whale
The Rainbow Warrior first sailed against Icelandic whaling on
her maiden voyage in 1978 when the world's largest mammals were on
the verge of extinction. Today seven of the 13 great whale species
are endangered, the remainder are still recovering from former
Iceland you'll consider a trip to their beautiful shores --
when they stop whaling.
Send an e-card
to your friends and ask them to join you.
Tell Iceland's Ambassadors you think Iceland should
If you've already written to the Icelandic Ambassadors and
received their reply, send this rebuttal!
offer to the Icelandic Government
The truth about "scientific
A rebuttal to the Icelandic Ambassador's defence of scientific
Whale watching -- the future?
Whaling: A brief history