You can help prove to Iceland that whales are worth more alive than dead: promise a future trip there if the government stops whaling.
Norway, normally a country which prides itself on abiding by
international law, violates a worldwide moratorium on commercial
whaling with every whale it harpoons.
"The real reason behind the hunt is the absurd and unscientific
claim that whales are eating too many fish and as a result harming
fisheries. Whales are a natural part of the ecosystem and the real cause of declining fish catches is over fishing, not hungry whales,"
says our whale campaigner John Frizell.
Norway falsely portrays the hunt as serving local needs. But the
Norwegian market is saturated with whale meat. Despite desperate
publicity efforts, freezers in Norwegian supermarkets are piled
high with unsold whale meat from the 2003 hunt. Japan claims it only hunts whales for 'scientific' reasons.
Yet the body for which the "research" is being done, the
International Whaling Commission (IWC), does not need the data, and
has called for the programme to be ended.
All the meat from caught whales, except sperm whale meat, which
is too toxic to eat, will be sold on the open market in Japan. The
"researchers" sold 3,000 tonnes of whale meat last year for US$52 million.
Greenpeace has been campaigning against whaling for thirty
years. We've put activists in front of harpoons, lobbyists at
conventions, and scientists out on the ocean. Today we're asking supporters to pledge a future vacation to Iceland to save the whales:
starkly demonstrating that the value of whale watching and tourism
to Iceland far exceeds the commercial value of whaling.
Ending whaling in Iceland would play an important role in
stopping the pro-whaling lobby group, led by the Japanese
government, and Greenpeace is concentrating effort on convincing
Iceland to declare independence from the whaling nations.
Supported by the Rainbow Warrior, we embarked on a public tour
in Iceland in September 2003 to present an offer to the Icelandic
Government which shows the clear economic and environmental gain in
choosing tourism over
Visit Iceland, save whales
Our supporters worldwide have been recruiting friends and family
to pledge to visit Iceland if the government stops whaling. So far,
more than 37,000
people have signed up. This represents a tourism value of more
than US$40 million to Iceland, as compared to an annual whale hunt
value of just US$3-4 million. The fact is undeniable: whales are worth more to Iceland alive than dead.
Ásbjörn Björgvinsson, chairman of the Icelandic Whale watching
Association, has sent a letter to Members of Parliament in the
North-Eastern constituency, stating his worries over the ten-fold decrease in bookings of foreign tourists for whale watching trips this spring.
"It is not only the whale watching companies that lose money on
this, but all other tourist companies in the area, such as hotels,
restaurants, bus companies, various suppliers and airlines that
move these people to and around the country." Ásbjörn says that
their business partner in the UK, the travel agency Discover the
World, thinks that the main reason for this decline in bookings is
likely to be the whaling of Iceland. Ásbjörn says that his letter
encourages the politicians to react to this threat and end whaling
"Iceland is just a tool used by the whaling lobby. Japan and
Norway persuaded Iceland to join them in whaling so they will be
less isolated. If Iceland gives up whaling, it will defeat the move by the whalers
to expand the number of countries in an effort to make whaling more
respectable," said Greenpeace campaigner Frode Pleym.
Greenpeace will be campaigning at the annual IWC meeting in
Italy this July for the moratorium on whaling to be respected and
for the IWC to shift its focus away from catching whales to the
conservation of whales.
"Commercial whaling has always been a disaster for whales,
driving populations down to tiny remnants. The only management scheme for whaling that shows any signs of success is the moratorium on commercial whaling
and we want it maintained," concluded Frizell.
Break the whaling alliance of Japan, Norway, and Iceland by
convincing Iceland that the world believes whales are more valuable
alive than dead. Take
the pledge to visit Iceland's beautiful shores if the
government stops whaling.