Fin Whale

Whaling: an indecent proposal

Posted by Willie — 25 April 2010 at 9:59am - Comments

If you’ve seen the media reports on whales over the past couple of weeks, you could be forgiven for thinking that there had been some sort of historical deal done. A deal that seems to be being spun as a way to save whales, by allowing some to be hunted. Media spin aside, we’ve been keen to see the detail of what is going to be on the table for our governments at the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in June.

Yesterday, at last, the speculation ended when the IWC published the details of a proposal on their website. The proposal is just that, a proposal. Not a deal, and certainly not a done deal. So please, view the over-effusive headlines with some care.

Complicit or just complacent?

Posted by Willie — 6 April 2010 at 4:08pm - Comments

A fin whale from the air © CC Sabine's Sunbird

26 Governments protest at Iceland's continued whale hunt

Posted by Willie — 2 October 2009 at 4:53pm - Comments

Today 26 governments made an official protest (called a 'demarche') to the Icelandic government, caliing on them to reassess their current whaling operations, and end commercial whaling.

Which way now for Iceland's whaling?

Posted by Willie — 9 February 2009 at 2:27pm - Comments

Whale watching

What with the effective collapse of their economy, you might be forgiven for thinking that people in Iceland have more pressing things to worry about than whaling, and undoubtedly you'd be right. Yet, in the midst of economic and political turmoil, whaling has been thrust back up the agenda by the outgoing fisheries minister's parting shot - granting a commercial whaling quota for up to 100 minke and 150 endangered fin whales per year, supposedly for export to Japan.

He did so knowing that he wouldn't be around to have to deal with the aftermath. It's scandalous that the Icelandic government are even considering exporting whale meat. Lest we forget, fin whales are still listed as endangered, meaning that trade in products from the species would generally be illegal. Unfortunately, such is the weakness of international agreements on conservation that a simple ‘objection' or ‘reservation' to the listing seems to let Japan and Iceland off the legal hook.

Whales: a little less conversation, a little more action?

Posted by Willie — 9 December 2008 at 4:10pm - Comments

Dead whale being transferred from bow to midships of whaling ship

While the IWC talks, the whalers are on their way back to the Southern Ocean © Greenpeace / Davison

This week, the International Whaling Commission is having an intersessional meeting in Cambridge to discuss its future. Whilst it's good news that these meetings are taking place (Greenpeace has been pushing for reform of the IWC into a body that works for the whales for many years), you have to ask yourself how much of this is just bluster.

At the same time as the international delegations are meeting, the Japanese whaling fleet is on its way to the Southern Ocean to kill whales for a bogus 'scientific' programme that is not endorsed by the IWC, and will take place in an area the IWC has designated a whale sanctuary. Despite measures to avoid confrontation at the last proper IWC meeting (which basically meant the pro-conservation countries not raising any issues that would be contentious with Japan and its allies), there has been no compromise from the whaling nations. Japan has not even officially reduced its own self-appointed quota.

Humpbacks safe - for now

Posted by jossc — 2 January 2008 at 3:34pm - Comments

A majestic humpback whale off the coast of Tonga

The Japanese government has confirmed a rumour first reported at the Greenpeace weblog, that they've abandoned plans to kill humpback whales in the Southern Ocean this season.

The fact that no humpback whales will be hunted down and killed in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this year is good news indeed, and a victory for Greenpeace supporters the world over who have joined with us in demanding action from their governments, participated in promoting non-lethal alternatives to whale research through our Great Whale Trail, and questioned the Japanese government directly about plans to expand the whale hunt through the building of a new whaling ship. (Oh, and all of you who told your friends to vote for Mister Splashy Pants in our whale-naming competition, you did your part too.)

Iceland ends commercial whale hunt

Posted by jossc — 24 August 2007 at 5:28pm - Comments

Iceland's senseless resumption of commercial whaling has now been suspended

In a setback to the whaling industry worldwide, Iceland's fisheries minister has just announced he will not issue further commercial whale-hunting quotas.

Iceland announced last year a return to commercial whaling and a quota of 30 minke whales and nine fins. But with virtually no market in Iceland and fears of contamination making Japan unwilling to purchase North Atlantic whale meat, the hunt has been a disaster. Since its introduction last year, Icelandic whalers have killed only seven minkes and seven fin whales, haven't made public the results of contamination testing on the whale meat, and can't seem to convince anyone to buy their product.

Endangered whales dumped in landfill site

Posted by jossc — 26 January 2007 at 2:17pm - Comments

A fin whal carcass rots at an Icelndic whaling stationNo sooner has Iceland granted permits for some of it's fisherman to resume commercial whaling than they discover, big surprise, what informed opinion has been telling them all along - namely that they would struggle to find any market for the meat.

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