By promoting whale watching more people will get the chance to see Whales in their natural environment
Whales are just beginning to recover from years of exploitation.
During the last century, commercial whaling decimated most of the
world's whale populations. Despite this on 6 August 2003, the
Government of Iceland announced that 38 minke whales would be taken
as the start of a so-called 'scientific' whaling program.
It outlined a program that would expand to take a total 500
whales, including sei and fin whales as well as minkes, in 2004 and
2005. The Icelandic Government would like to begin full-scale
commercial whaling in 2006, which could could seriously deplete the
minke whale population.
Many people - including us - believe that the Government of
Iceland should look to other forms of economic development, such as
tourism, which respects rather than kills whales.
We launched our first anti-whaling campaign in 1975, confronting
the whalers on the high seas. This time we are campaigning online
through the Iceland Travel Pledge with the help of our
cyberactivist community, which now has over 160,000 members from
more than 250 countries and territories. We have made an offer to
the Icelandic government to promote Iceland as a nature tourism
destination, if the decision to recommence whaling is reversed.
In January we set a goal of getting 50,000 pledges which has a
potential tourist value of US$77 million. Today we are over halfway
there; more than 25,500 people have pledged to visit Iceland if the
government ends plans to renew hunting. Our mission is to get the
50,000 pledges by June, to achieve this we need even more people to
pledge and for them to recruit more online activists.
Register here today and take part in the Iceland Pledge Challenge and help stop the Icelandic Government before it is too late. The challenge is to get as many people as you know to take the Icelandic Travel Pledge, meaning that your friends add their name.
To show our appreciation for your campaigning a berth aboard one
of our boats is being made available to send a hard working
cyberactivist to Iceland to see the whales firsthand and help us to
take part in the dialogue and meetings with the Icelandic
Government and people. One of the selection criteria to get onto
the boat is that he or she will be chosen from among the top ten
Look but don't touch
It is not just us who believe that whale watching is preferable
both economically and environmentally to whale hunting. An
increasing number of Icelanders believe that their country will
attract more visitors by positioning it as the land of the living
whale, and want to see the hunt stopped.
Whale watching is classified as 'eco-tourism' because, when
conducted properly, it is benign and allows people to enjoy nature
while having a negligible impact on it. Within Iceland, whale
watching is already popular and a major tourist industry. It is
estimated that about a dozen whale watching companies have been
started in Iceland in the last ten years, generating US$8.5 million
Globally, it already generates a staggering US$1 billion in
direct revenue per year. This clearly shows the economic advantage
for Iceland to choose this pathway over whaling in the future as
during its peak year Icelandic whaling only generated US$4
Whale watching also provides opportunities for genuine research
and promotes an appreciation of the marine environment and
conservation issues. It is now so popular with tourists that it has
become far more profitable than whaling ever was.
you are a registered cyberactivist join the pledge
an e-card to a friend or five
For more information on Icelandic Whaling
Previous news stories
Help Iceland choose eco-tourism not whaling
Dolphins die in trawler nets