Greenpeace protests Norwegian plans to kill whales and export the meat

Feature story - 4 May, 2002
An entire flotilla of fifty Greenpeace activists escorted the Kiel-Oslo ferry out of port today, to protest Norway's imminent whaling expedition.

Ellingsen factory, biggest whale meat and blubber storage in Norway.

Activists took to four traditional sailing vessels, six smaller boats, 12 canoes and even small inflatables, many wearing survival suits to brave the cold, fog, rain of spring weather in northern Germany.

The protesters' banners read "Stop Whaling" to draw attention to Norway's planned whaling expedition, expected to begin within days in the North-East Atlantic and the North Sea. The whalers want to kill 674 minke whales between mid-May and the end of August.

Greenpeace opposes the hunt, as it does the Norwegian government's plans to export the whale meat and blubber to Japan.

These exports would contravene CITES (the convention on international trade in endangered species) which strictly prohibits trade in whale products beyond a country's borders.

Norway and Japan do not accept this trade ban. Both countries have declared their opposition to this CITES resolution by "taking reservations", so that they do not feel legally bound by the trade ban.

Japan and Norway are also the only countries to have disregarded the 1986 IWC (International Whaling Commission) ban.