The Norwegian government plan to take 670 minke whales in the
only openly declared commercial whale hunt in the world, while the
Japanese government aim to kill 210 minke, Bryde's, sei and sperm
whales in the North western Pacific in a so called "Scientific"
whaling programme. Iceland, the world's third whaling nation, has
not yet made a decision on this year's take or if their
"scientific" research programme will continue.
"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," added Frizell.
Norway falsely portrays the hunt as serving local needs even
when the Norwegian market is saturated with whale meat. Despite
marketing efforts, freezers in Norwegian supermarkets are piled
high with unsold whale meat from the 2003 hunt. Japan's hunt is
equally commercial but is carried out under the sham that it is for
'scientific' reasons, despite the fact that the body for which the
'research' is being done, the IWC, does not need the data being
produced and has called for the programme to be ended.
All the meat from the Japanese whaling operations, except sperm
whale meat, which is too toxic to market, will be sold on the open
market in Japan. The 'researchers' sold 3,000 tonnes of whale meat
this way last year for 52 million dollars.
Greenpeace continues to campaign to bring an end to whaling, as
it has done for nearly thirty years. Currently Greenpeace are
actively campaigning against the resumed hunt in Iceland, which
plays an important role in stopping the pro whaling lobby group,
lead by the Japanese government.
Supported by the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace
embarked on a public tour in Iceland in September 2003 to present
an offer to the Icelandic Government that shows the clear economic
and environmental gain in choosing tourism over 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
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. The
only management scheme for whaling that shows any signs of success
is the moratorium on commercial whaling and we want it maintained,"
VVPR info: For video contact Maarten van Rouveroy, +31 646 19 73 22, for stills contact: John Novis, +31 653 81 91 21