David Stubbs, head of sustainability for the London Olympics, has confirmed that seafood on offer to athletes, staff and the public has no links with Hb Grandi, one of Iceland’s largest seafood companies and a company with strong links to whaling in Iceland.
Over the past two years, WDCS has been working with major supermarkets and fish suppliers in the UK to raise awareness of the links between HB Grandi and whaling. HB Grandi board member, Kristjan Loftsson, is also President of the Hvalur fin whaling company and is Iceland’s biggest – and most notorious – whaler. The relationship between these two companies could not be cosier: Hvalur uses HB Grandi facilities to process fin whale products and the two companies share information on the location of fish. More than half of HB Grandi fish exports go directly to the UK and the rest of Europe.
WDCS applauds the willingness of London 2012 organisers to carry out an internal audit of suppliers of seafood to the Games. “Confirmation that London 2012 is ‘Grandi-free’ could not have come at a more important time,” commented WDCS anti-whaling campaigner, Vanessa Williams-Grey. “There is evidence that fin whaling – which did not take place last year because of market difficulties – may resume again from June. Hvalur has an annual quota of 150-170 fin whales and, in recent years, has exported almost 2,000 tonnes of whale meat to Japan, cynically creating a lucrative export market for this endangered species. We congratulate London 2012 on its commitment to not buying fish from companies with links to whaling.”