Controversial whale meat to Japan

Photo: ÞÖK

A consignment of 1,700 tonnes of whale meat leaving Iceland this morning has been reported upon by the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The shipment, sent by Hafnarfjörður-based whaling company Hvalur hf, will be making several stops on its long journey to Japan and may encounter troubles on the way, according to Sigursteinn Másson, Icelandic spokesman for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

“My source tells me they need to stop at least four times on the way to Japan which could be very difficult,” the Guardian quotes Másson as saying. Protests by anti-whaling and animal-welfare groups are possible.

The ship Winter Bay is reported to have left Iceland just after 10:30am. The Guardian article notes that “Iceland and Norway are the only nations that openly defy the International Whaling Commission’s 1986 ban on hunting whales”.

 “There is no humane way to kill animals of that size,” continues Másson. “There is no need for this meat and certainly no need for Iceland’s economy or fisheries industry to have this.”

“This is a shipment that faces strong international opposition. [...] Commercial whaling is a very isolated business – we want to see the end of it, as does most of the world.”

According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group, Icelandic whalers caught 137 fin whales and 24 minke whales in 2014 last year.

The full Guardian article can be found here.


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