For decades, Japan has churned out misinformation and propaganda on whales and whaling in order to support a dying whaling industry that only continues thanks to government subsidies. Fear-mongering is largely centred around the popular refrain of ‘too many whales, eating too many fish’ and dire warnings of the catastrophic crash of fish stocks that will result if whales are not managed.
Multi-millionaire fin whaler, Kristjan Loftsson, just got richer. According to a recently-published annual report for the year to September 2013, his fin whaling company, Hvalur Ltd., made a good profit last year, with almost a billion ISK (986 million ISK, around £5.1 million) paid out in dividends to shareholders.
WDC, working with NGOs including AWI (Animal Welfare Institute), EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) and ProWildlife, approached major retailers and seafood suppliers in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, asking them to audit their supply chain for the presence of HB Grandi seafood and to state clearly whether they opposed commercial whaling.
The 2014 Icelandic minke whale hunt has killed less than 10% of their self-allocated quota. RUV, Iceland state broadcaster, reports that Iceland's Whale hunters have failed to reach even a small percentage of their qouta, making it very likely that there will be a shortage of whale meat in Iceland this winter.
Our colleague Vanessa wrote some months ago that it was highly suspicious that the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries has overidden health officials to allow the sale of whale beer in Iceland.
It is shocking enough to hear that this year’s IWC meeting has given permission for Greenland to annually kill nearly 200 whales – including humpback and bowhead whales - for the next four years but there is another gruesome activity that doesn’t apparently require any international discussion, agreement or quota - the brutal killing of thousands of Greenland’s smaller whales and dolphins.
Kitty Block, Vice President of Humane Society International has contributed to a piece in Livescience.com asking for the United States to give serious consideration to stepping up its game against commercial whaling ‘through a more aggressive foreign policy approach’.