Ever the cynic, I say that it’s no coincidence that lone Icelandic fin whaler, Kristjan Loftsson, has thrown his stash out the window seconds before the US knocks at Iceland’s door. How else to explain this latest – and possibly most audacious - move from a man who specialises in dishing out audacious moves like Smarties at a childrens’ party?
Whaling in Numbers
As the four-month Norwegian whaling season comes to a close, the number of whales slaughtered has reached its highest level since 1993. Despite a global ban on commercial whaling, whalers in Norway have caught 729 whales and the number could rise further even though demand for the meat is falling in Norway.
Norway sets a self-imposed quota of 1,286 whales it can kill during the season and claims the hunt is for the “protection and sustainable harvesting of marine resources”.
The Japan Times leads with a report that 'Russia has seized a Japanese research whaling ship in the Sea of Okhotsk on suspicion of intruding into Russian territorial waters, government sources said on Friday.
The 712-ton Shonan Maru No. 2 left Japan on Aug. 8 to examine whales in the Sea of Okhotsk at the request of the government-linked Fisheries Research Agency.
I’m just back from a short trip to monitor whaling activities in Iceland.
WDC congratulates the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel companies whose brands include Radisson, Park Inn and Quorvus, which yesterday confirmed that it has added whale meat to its list of prohibited foodstuffs. The move follows a complaint made by a tour guide whose party stayed at the Group’s Radisson Blu hotel at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway where they were shocked to see whale meat on the menu. The ban covers over 440 hotels in 72 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa operated by the Rezidor Group.
The largest whale museum in Europe will open it’s doors to visitors in mid August. The museum is located in Reykjavík, Iceland and will house 23 life-size models as part of its main exhibition, representing all the different types of whales found off the shores of Iceland. Iceland's whale watching tourism trade is growing and it is hoped that this museum will also help change perceptions and counter the country's cruel whale hunting industry.
Japanese whaling vessels have concluded a two and a half month whale hunt in the Pacific, killing 115.
The Norwegian Råfisklag (Fishermen’s Sales Association) reports that, as of Monday June 30th, 603 minke whales have been killed. Although the season is barely halfway through, the grim tally already exceeds last year’s total of 590 whales and once again, Norway has allocated itself a quota of 1,286 whales.