The Icelandic whale meat and blubber is intended for export to
Japan, despite the claims by the whaler who caught them, that some
of it is not fit for human consumption.
The Japanese whaling fleet is currently preparing to hunt 10
more fin whales and 935 minke whales in the Southern Ocean Whale
Sanctuary, despite having massive stockpiles of its own of more
than 4400 tonnes of unsold whale meat in freezers in Japan. At the
end of last year a single whaler, given a commercial license by the
Icelandic government killed seven endangered fin whales.
"Iceland claims their commercial whaling is sustainable - but
how can they justify it when they are hunting endangered species,
without domestic demand, and an over-supply of whale products in
Japan?" said Greenpeace Nordic Oceans campaigner, Frode Pleym.
"Both Iceland and Japan continue to whale in the face of domestic
and international opposition, even though there is no scientific,
economic or environmental justification for it," added Pleym.
Greenpeace has launched its biggest ever global recruitment
drive - inviting tens of thousands of people to campaign to stop
whaling via a new website - http://whales.greenpeace.org. The first
demand of the newly expanded campaign team was for anti-whaling
countries to commit to reforming the IWC and refuse to attend a
pro-whaling meeting in Tokyo next month, sponsored by the Japanese
"In a recent opinion poll by the Nippon Research Centre, 69% of
Japanese people said they do not support the government whaling on
the high seas, including the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary," said
Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Whales campaign coordinator. "It is
also no surprise that there are massive stockpiles of whale meat,
when the same survey shows that 95% of people never or have rarely
eaten whale meat. It is time for all governments to make a
commitment to the whales and not an outdated, unwanted and
pointless industry." Sato added.
On Thursday the Greenpeace ship Esperanza will sail to the
Southern Ocean, in order to put themselves between the harpoons and
the whales, to stop individual whales being killed.
Other contacts: Sara Holden: Greenpeace International communications, on board the Esperanza in New Zealand: + 64 212 607 255 () Frode Pleym: Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, in Iceland: + 46 703 535 766 () Keiko Shirokawa: Greenpeace Japan, in Tokyo, +813 5339 9816
VVPR info: For Video and photos: Photo: John Novis, Photo Editor, in Amsterdam: +31 653 819 121 Video: Maarten Van Rouveroy, in Amsterdam: +31 646 197 322
Exp. contact date: 2007-02-27 00:00:00