An anti-whaling stencil on a wall in the North Icelandic port town of Akureyri.
36 minke whales were caught last autumn in Iceland but there is
still an ample supply of whale meat, which is no longer on display
in Icelandic supermarket due to the lack of demand. Still, the
Government's so called scientific whaling programme plan to expand
the hunt even further.
"It is time for the Icelandic government to realize that Iceland
will gain so much more from conservation and taking care of the
nature than to resume whaling. Whaling is just not profitable for
Iceland," stated Frode Pleym, Greenpeace Spokesperson on a press
conference in Reykjavik today.
Supported by the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior,
Greenpeace embarked on a public tour in Iceland last autumn in
order to discuss the Icelandic whaling issue and other
environmental issues with the Icelandic people. Upon arrival the
Icelandic Government stated that Greenpeace had nothing to offer
the Icelandic people.
Since then a recent finding by Gallup, the opinion research
firm, has revealed that 48% of the Icelandic public thinks the
existence of groups like Greenpeace is " rather important or very
The purpose of the tour in Iceland was to present an offer to
the Icelandic Government that shows the clear economic and
environmental gain in choosing sustainable tourism over whaling.
"Today over 18.000 people have taken the pledge to consider a
vacation in Iceland if the whaling is stopped. Our goal is 50 000
pledges which would represent 58,3 million USD in tourism value
versus 4 million USD from commercial whaling at it's peak. This is
an economic opportunity for Iceland," said Frode Pleym.
During the press conference Greenpeace launched a new Icelandic
website, www.greenpeace.is, and presented an exhibition, featuring
images from the Rainbow Warrior tour around in September 2003, that
will travel to different public venues in Iceland during spring
" With the exhibition and the website we want to invite the
Icelandic people to take part in Greenpeace global environmental
work. We have been greatly encouraged by the discussions with the
people of Iceland and we are looking forward to continue our
presence in Iceland in the future," said Frode Pleym.
Notes: (1) www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2313082 and Finansavisen October 2003 "Hvalkjott och Marked" by Trygve Hegner. (2) Through the Greenpeace website and other communications to our supporters, we ask people around the world to participate in protecting vulnerable areas and species through appropriate opportunities, including visiting Iceland. Read more on www.icelandwhalespledge.com (3) Gallup asked 800 Icelanders age 16-75 the question " The importance of the existence of an international environmental organisation like Greenpeace" Read the Gallup report on http://www.greenpeace.org/iceland