As Iceland kills the last minke in this year’s bogus scientific hunts, bringing the total to 39, Greenpeace strengthens its vow to stop the Icelandic hunt and to push its pledge to increase whale watching and tourism on the island.
"The Icelandic tourist association and whale watching operators
have made it clear that whaling damages the reputation of the
nation and has a negative impact on tourism. In recent years,
tourism has become a major source of income in Iceland and whale
watching alone attracts around 82,000 tourists annually and is
worth more than $18 million USD a year," said Martin Norman from
In 2003 Greenpeace launched a pledge asking people to consider a
holiday in Iceland if whaling was stopped. Since then over 65,000
people have taken the pledge - this potentially represents
$76.8million USD in tourism value as opposed to $4million from
commercial whaling at its peak. The offer presented by Greenpeace
to the Icelandic government clearly shows the economic and
environmental benefit of choosing sustainable tourism over
"Over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die each year due
to a multitude of threats, such as global warming, ozone depletion,
toxic chemicals, noise pollution, overfishing and ship strikes.
That is the death of one of these animals every two minutes - the
last thing we should be doing adding to these threats by hunting
whales," added Norman.
Iceland's storage freezers are full with up to 40 tonnes of
unsold whale meat and blubber from the 2003 and 2004 hunts. Only a
quarter of last years catch was sold, yet Iceland persisted in
taking this year's "scientific" quota of 39 minke whales.
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which
uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global
environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green
and peaceful future.
Other contacts: Martin Norman, Greenpeace Nordic Press Officer, +47 930 50053 Mhairi Dunlop, Greenpeace International Communications, +31 646 162 026
Exp. contact date: 2005-08-31 00:00:00