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?
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.
This blog was written by WDC's Social Media Coordinator, Anja Reckendorf, who is currently travelling in Iceland. Anja is a veterinarian as well as a conservationist and whale lover and below she gives her perspectives after witnessing the butchering of a fin whale.
Fin whaling vessels owned by Iceland’s biggest whaling company, Hvalur hf, left Reykjavik Harbour yesterday. After stopping at the whaling station at Hvalfjordur to pick up chains, harpoons and other gear, they headed out to the whaling grounds off Faxafloi. Last December, the Icelandic Fisheries Ministry self-allocated a quota of 154 fin whales to be killed during the 2014 season, despite the species being classified as endangered and the existence of a massive frozen stockpile of Icelandic fin whale meat in Japan. Almost no fin whale meat is consumed in Iceland itself.
A Japanese coastal whaling fleet killed 30 minke whales between April and June according the country’s fisheries agency. The hunts, part of Japan's northwestern Pacific ‘research’ programme, are the first since an international court ordered a halt to its annual whaling expedition in the Antarctic, calling in to question the scientific value of such a slaughter.
US Foreign Policy and the Future of Japanese Whaling
Monday the 16th June marks the 20th anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS ). The Law of the Sea Convention opened for signature on 10 December 1982, only a few months after the International Whaling Commission (IWC
“You went away a boy and you came back a man”, so says one of the last of the British whalers interviewed for Adam Nicolson’s two part story telling the history of British whaling that aired for the first time on the 8th June.
This is my review written as the programme aired, so please forgive any immediate errors, I'll try and come back to it once I get a chance to review the programme again.
On a day when the Japanese Prime Minister once again pledged the Japanese taxpayer to foot an increasingly costly programme to reopen Antarctic whaling, the BBC is reflecting on British whaling in Antarctica and its place in history. The contrast could not be more real.