The fleet of 'research' whalers expected to depart Japan June 10th is sailing under false pretences Greenpeace said today.Last year the 'research' whalers marketed 3,000 tonnes of whale meat for 52 million dollars.
'The real product of the hunt is thousands of tonnes of whale
meat, not scientific data. It is a sham to say this hunt is for
'scientific' reasons when the body for which the 'research' is
being done, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), does not
need the data and has called for the program to be ended,' said
John Frizell of Greenpeace International.
At its most recent meeting, the IWC expressed deep concern that
the provisions of its charter providing for research whaling were
enabling countries to conduct whaling for commercial purposes
despite the moratorium on commercial whaling and said that those
provisions were not intended to be exploited in order to provide
whale meat for commercial purposes.
A Norwegian whale hunt is already underway and the government
plans to take 670 minke whales in the only openly declared
commercial whale hunt in the world.
Responding to widespread criticism, the Icelandic government
recently announced that they will scale down their so called
'scientific' whaling programme and limit this year's take to 25
Iceland caught its first whale of 2004 a few days ago and
Greenpeace is continuing its campaign against the resumed hunt.
Promoters of whaling claim that whales are eating too many fish
and so harming fisheries. But whales are a natural part of the
ecosystem. Some of the fish they eat are predators of commercially
valuable fish, so a healthy population of whales may contribute to
a good catch for commercial fishermen. A hundred years ago both
fish and whale populations existed at much higher levels than are
'The real cause of declining fish catches is over fishing, not
hungry whales,' said John Frizell. 'To claim otherwise is absurd
and unscientific and Greenpeace will be campaigning at the annual
IWC-meeting in Italy in July for the moratorium on whaling to be
VVPR info: For video contact Maarten van Rouveroy, +31 646 19 73 22, for stills contact: John Novis, +31 653 81 91 21
Notes: (1) http://www.icelandwhalespledge.com(2) The annual IWC meeting takes place from 19th-24th of July in Sorrento, Italy.