A paragliding pilot flies over Greenpeace and KFEM activists protesting against the proposed construction of a whale meat processing factory in Ulsan May 31, 2005.
UlsanCity Council planned to build a whale meat processing plant
inJangsaengpo, Ulsan, intending to start construction late
thisyear. The Korean fisheries ministry insisted that this
plant was "a check-point for dealing with whale carcasses in an
environment-friendly and sanitary manner".
However, according to newspaper reports in the South Korean
paper TheHankyoreh, the council has decided to scrap the plans
"Greenpeace called the facility a whale meat factory at its website,which caused the international community to view Korea as a pro-whalingnation. The city decided that going ahead with the plan would not be inthe national interest. It also had trouble raising the fund. In theend, it decided to scrap the plan."
However, the Council will not commit to us in writing that the
factorywill not be built. According to the same newspaper report,
a cityofficial said, "It is unprecedented that the city produces an
officialdocument confirming its decision for an NGO
[Non-GovernmentalOrganisation]. People may view such document as a
sign that the cityhas changed its policy in the face of outside
pressure. So putting thedecision in writing is unthinkable."
Greenpeace and the Korean Federation for Environment Movement
issued the following statement:
"Greenpeace and KFEM are greatly encouraged by news released
today inthe South Korean publication, The Hankyoreh, that plans to
build awhalemeat factory in Ulsan, South Korea have been
If these reports are true, Greenpeace and KFEM welcome the South
KoreanGovernment's courageous move. By scrapping the planned whale
meatfactory, the South Korean Government is showing that it does
notsupport whaling, and it does not wish to follow in the footsteps
of theJapanese Government in their determination to destroy the
world'sdwindling numbers of whales. We hope that this move towards
whaleprotection will be extended to the IWC, and that the South
KoreanGovernment will now vote in favour of whale protection and
vote againsta resumption of commercial whaling."
While the whale meat factory victory is great news, thebattle
to save Korea's whales has not ended - this weekend sees thestart
of the IWC in Ulsan, and anotherchance for the Korean government to
prove that it really is opposed to theresumption of whaling in any
Join the virtual march!
There's still time to make sure the IWC doesn't jeopardise the ban on commercial whaling - join the Virtual March now!
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