The Whale Embassy in Ulsan, South Korea ... with campaigner Jim Wickens on the phone as usual!
In early April, we uncovered plans by the Korean government to
build awhale meat factory in Ulsan. The discovery added togrowing
Korea wants to reopen commercial whaling.
We established our Whale Embassy to open a dialogue with local
peopleabout the government's plans, to explain just how many people
aroundthe world oppose whaling, to call for a cancellation of plans
to buildthe factory, along with assurances that Korea will not bow
topressure from Japan to resume commercial whaling.
We've had visitors and volunteers from the local community, the
NewZealand Ambassador stopped by, and a great deal of local
City officials embarrassed
But City officials are not at all happy with us tarnishing
theirreputation as the "City of whales" with our suggestion that
Ulsan isactually heading toward becoming the "City of whaling."
Oureviction notice stated they want usto leave because they
claim we are in the way of the proposed Oceans Day ceremony on May
They have given us until Monday, May 16th to get off the
Whale campaigner Jim Wickens says: "It is quite clear that they
want tostifle any criticism of their plans to build the factory.
Today theyshowed us plans of the Oceans Day ceremony being planned,
and on theentire 15,000 square-metre site, they don't have any room
for ourlittle embassy. We have told them that any attempts to evict usforcibly will reflect very badly on their international image
There have already been several attempts at intimidation,
official andunofficial. According to Wickens: "Last night at four
in the morningfour local fishermen turned uplooking for trouble,
luckily there were others awake to come and help.
We have been tipped off that in Korea in sensitive political protests
,thugs are often allowed to do the dirty work. There is a
possibilitythat this may take the form of fake fishermen coming to
beat us up."
The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has sent a
fax to ourheadquarters in Amsterdam claiming we are distorting the
"Hygienic" butchering of "accidental" whale meat
They say that the whale meat factory will merely be a sanitary
measure-- a way to hygienically butcher the whales which are
"accidentally"killed by becoming entangled in nets, and those which
might be killedin a possible programme of "scientific whaling."
Korea allows the commercial sale of whale meat fromaccidental
kills. The Ministry didn't respond to our observationthat Korea and Japan individually in 2003 caught more whales byaccident than all the fishing fleets in the world combined reported.
Nor did they comment on the stories that local people have told
usabout some methods fisherman use to "accidentally" catch
whales:ramming them with the ship to cause massive internal
With our own eyes
We witnessed the butchering of a juvenile minke whale which
was"accidentally" caught. The whale meat was packaged up for sale
ata value of US$30,000.
At prices like that, you can well imagine why a city official
might want to build a whale butchering factory.
The man who can stop the whale meat factory is Ulsan mayor, Mr.
Local businessmen, such as the deputy vice president of Hyundai
, havebeen vocal supporters of the whale meat factory,
apparently unaware ofthe brand damage which other multinational
corporations have sufferedwhen they've been exposed as having a
close association to whaling.
Korea hosts the International Whaling Commission meeting this
year inJune. The meeting that could open the doors to a return to
commercialwhaling, which has been banned since 1985.
Tell the mayor to stop the whale factory
We're trying to warn Mr. Park Maeng-woo just how passionate
peoplearound the world are about saving whales -- how much his
town'sreputation, the reputation of Hyundai corporation, and the
reputationof his country are at stake.
can help us let the Ulsan mayor know just how important it is
toGreenpeace supporters worldwide that he make the right decision
andcancel the whale meat factory.
Watch the video of Jim speaking from the Whale Embassy
Stop the whale meat factory!
Join the Virtual March on Ulsan, South Korea, to stop the whale meat factory and tell Korea the world says NO to whaling.
Give so whales can live
Greenpeace actions have saved whales all over the world, but whaling nations continue to press for a resumption of commercial whaling. Help us keep fighting against whaling.