Icelandic Fin Whalers Feel It at the Boston Seafood Show

by Phil Kline

March 20, 2014

First, Id like to thank the 40,000 of you who have sent President Obama a message asking him to impose targeted economic sanctions on Icelandic companies directly linked to commercial Fin whaling. Thank You.

As we continue to pressure the Obama administration to impose new economic sanctions, we are also working on multiple other fronts to achieve the same result: ending Icelands commercial whaling.

Our most recent activity was to take our message directly to Icelandic fishing companies and their U.S. distributors at the Boston Seafood Show (BSS). The BSS, whose more official name is Seafood Expo North America, is the largest convention of commercial fishing companies in the U.S. It is held annually and just concluded this past week.

Last week in Boston we co-sponsored an advertisement on Bostons metro system, the T. We put our advertisement on the Silver Line, which services the Convention Center, where the Seafood show was held.

The ads were on every third train on the line, and BSS participants and the public alike saw the ads and were talking about them for days.

Boston fin whale ad

The action was the work of a coalition called WhalesNeedUS (WNUS), working to save whales and dolphins. As an active member of the WNUS coalition, Greenpeace fully supported the work at the Boston Seafood show.

Also a delegation from WNUS, led by Kate OConnell and accompanied by James Mitchell (GPUS seafood markets campaigner) visited with seafood distributors that sell products in the U.S. market that come from companies involved with Icelands Fin whaling. We asked them to stop selling any fish, roe or other products from Icelandic whaling companies until their commercial whaling stops.

Heres the good news

Whales, and particularly Icelandic whaling, were a major topic of concern and discussion among fishing industry participants at the BSS.

High Liner Foods, one of the largest North American seafood distributors, has now publicly stated its opposition to whaling and trade in whale products. It has also instructed all of its senior officials that there will be no more purchases of HB Grandi seafood until Grandi is no longer engaged in whaling.

A harpooned fin whale being pulled in by one of Hvalur's ships.

A harpooned fin whale being pulled in by one of Hvalur’s ships.

HB Grandi is Icelands largest fishing company. Its facilities have been used to process hunted fin whales, and its upper level management are also associated with management of Hvalur, the Icelandic company that is directly tied to whaling.

The pressure on Icelands whalers is building, and the stage is set for President Obama to push it further. He should immediately impose targeted economic sanctions on Icelandic whalers now.

If you havent already sent President Obama this message you still can right here.

Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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